SWITZERLAND has set itself on a collision course with the European Union today after vowing to push ahead with immigration controls if it cannot agree a deal with Brussels.
The Swiss government announced it will introduce a quota system if numbers arriving in the land-locked country from other European nations rises over a certain limit.
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The proposed curbs, due to be drafted by March next year, are likely to anger Brussels as they run against the EU's fiercely-guarded freedom of movement principle.
Although Switzerland is not a member of the 28-member bloc, a deal with Brussels means it allows unrestricted immigration for EU nationals, while it is also a part of the continent's borderless Schengen Area.
But, in February last year, Swiss voters supported limiting immigration in a national referendum.
The country's government is now obliged to return to the controls in place before it signed the freedom of movement deal with the EU.
In a statement today, Switzerland's Federal Council revealed how it would meet these "constitutional requirements".
Although it will still attempt to strike an "acceptable solution" with Brussels, the government warned if it cannot reach a deal with the EU then it will implement its own "independent control of immigration".
If this happens, the EU could throw out a series of other agreements between Switzerland and Brussels.
The EU has previously refused to discuss the issue until the Swiss government hands it an official proposal.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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