GENEVA (AP) — Voters in Switzerland cast ballots Sunday on a nationalist party’s proposal to limit the number of European Union citizens allowed to live and work in their country.
The measure, championed by the populist Swiss People’s Party, would give preferential access to jobs, social protection and benefits to people from Switzerland over those from the 27-nation bloc that surrounds it.
If passed, the proposal would further strain the rich Alpine’s country’s deep and lucrative ties to the EU, of which it isn’t a member. It could also lead to reciprocal disadvantages for millions of Swiss citizens if they want to live or work in the EU.
Roughly 1.4 million EU citizens live in the country of about 8.2 million, while around 500,000 Swiss live in EU countries.
In a similar referendum in 2014, the Swiss narrowly voted in favor of limiting access of EU citizens to live and