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Switzerland heads for second referendum

The Swiss Federal Council has rejected a popular request to nullify a 2014 referendum on immigration, but confirmed that it does intend to put the issue to a second vote—as discussions continue on Switzerland's participation in Horizon 2020.

In a statement on 26 October, the Federal Council said that it was opposed to a popular initiative that requested the results of a 2014 vote be ignored “for reasons related to the function of democracy”. The idea that Switzerland “go back on the result of a popular vote after such a short space of time” is unacceptable, the council stated.

But, ministers speaking in Bern the same day said the government would offer a second vote on the issue: to be presented as a question of whether to stem the influx of workers from abroad, or to continue access to the European single market.

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