If no agreement is reached after the spring 2020 vote, the question of a Plan B arises. In order to mitigate the negative consequences of possible non-acceptance and to allow the resumption of negotiations at a later date, the conclusion of an interim agreement could be considered. It would therefore be clear that, although Switzerland does not have the right to enter into other market access agreements, the existing agreements remain in force. On 22 December 2016, Switzerland and the EU reached an agreement under which a new Swiss law (in response to the referendum) would require Swiss employers to hire job seekers (Swiss nationals or not registered in Swiss employment agencies) while observing the free movement of EU citizens to Switzerland so that they can work there. [15] For example, ongoing negotiations on the electricity agreement and in the areas of public health and food security can be expected to be interrupted. In addition, in addition to the non-recognition of the equivalence of the Swiss stock exchange, the EU could respond with other retaliatory measures such as Switzerland`s exclusion from the continuation of the EU`s Horizon 2021 research programme. Prior to 2014, the bilateral approach, as it is called in Switzerland, was systematically supported by the Swiss population during referendums. It allows the Swiss to maintain a sense of sovereignty on the basis of regulations when changes in EU law apply only when a common bilateral commission decides it by consensus. It also limits the EU`s influence to the ten areas in which the EEA covers more territories, with more exceptions than the EEA.

Switzerland has close relations with the EU not only economically, but also politically and culturally. In total, more than 120 bilateral agreements allow Switzerland access to the EU internal market and allow Switzerland to be linked to the EU in a similar sectoral way. An agreement on Switzerland`s participation in EU education, training and youth programmes was signed in 2010. In 2009, the Swiss voted in favour of extending the free movement of people to Bulgaria and Romania from 59.6% to 40.4%. [8] While the 2004/38/EC European Directive on the right of free movement and residence does not apply directly to Switzerland, the bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the free movement of persons has the same rights for both Swiss citizens and eee and their family members. [9] There are currently more than 100 bilateral agreements between the EU and Switzerland. This is called the « guillotine clause. » While the bilateral approach theoretically guarantees the right to refuse the application of the new EU rules to Switzerland, the clause limits the scope of application in practice. The agreement on the European Economic Area contains a similar clause.

Voters overwhelmingly decided to renew the agreement on free movement and extend the right to work in Switzerland to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania. If the agreement has not been renewed, the guillotine clause may have entered into force and all bilateral agreements I have been cancelled. The failure of contract negotiations would have negative consequences for Switzerland and an incalculable risk.