December 8, 2016 / 5:58 AM / a year ago

Swiss SVP won't call for referendum against new immigration law

ZURICH, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) has ruled out demanding a referendum on tougher implementation of a 2014 vote to curb immigration, even if it is dissatisfied with new legislation parliament is due to vote on next week.

Such a referendum demand would have created a new period of uncertainty on the rules regarding immigration, with parliament set to vote on a new bill that would give locals first crack at open jobs.

“No, we decided yesterday not to go for a referendum,” SVP president Albert Roesti told Swiss television SRF late on Wednesday, when asked if the party would call for a referendum to overthrow the bill.

Ever since voting for an SVP proposal to curb immigration in 2014, Switzerland has been trying to reach compromise with the European Union to adopt new immigration rules without introducing quotas that might block free movement of people, a key condition for access to the EU’s single market.

“A referendum would take us back to the initial situation where we are unable to limit immigration,” Roesti said, adding the SVP did not believe parliament in its current form would be ready to vote for a stricter law. (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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