A former village mayor conceded to me that Swiss locals had become rich by selling vineyards to multinational companies and by renting out houses to the new globalized middle class. Life was good, he said; the well-off immigrants Switzerland had managed to attract made other nationals green with envy.
“But we’ve sold our souls and destroyed our social tissue,” he added. Another official complained that the government was ignoring the Swiss refusal to join the EU: “It doesn’t matter how we vote. Every year, we get more EU regulation via the back door.”
So those who claim that certain EU member states should leave the union and be like Switzerland are deceiving the electorate. Switzerland has the same problem as EU countries: a considerable loss of sovereignty. The cause is not Brussels, but globalization. Quitting the EU is therefore a false remedy, and it is time those fantasists up north realized that.
That would be the political trilemma again, a matter already amply covered in Slugger’s archive…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty