A large majority of Swiss (77%) polled think a stable relationship with the European Union (EU) is an economic necessity and that EU agreements should be maintained. 75% of the 2,500 surveyed by gfs.bern between 9 and 25 February 2017, believe that agreements with the EU are needed to ensure the Swiss economy has access to the european market.
The survey, which was published on 26 March 2017, was arranged by Interpharma, an association of pharmaceutical companies, a sector which sends more than half of its exports to the EU.
The percentage favouring EU agreements has risen from 43% in October 2015 to half. In addition, only one in five would prefer Switzerland to have no agreements with the EU.
On the other hand, one person in five thinks the agreements are somewhat or entirely negative, while 44% think the current agreements should be binned and renegotiated.
Only 15% think Switzerland should join the EU.
On the subject of EU immigration, 51% feel the recent government plan to require employers to hire Swiss residents ahead of foreign workers is sufficient, while 38% think it is unsatisfactory.
If there were a referendum, 57% said they would support the government, and 58% said the EU agreements are more important than implementing to the letter the constitutional changes set out in the 9 February 2014 vote to halt mass immigration.
According to the poll, if Swiss were to vote today they would reject the fall-back proposal, known as RASA, 51% against versus 41% for it. At the same time the poll suggests that most (58%) would vote against any plan to do away with EU agreements, with only 38% supporting such an initiative.