FIRST AIRED: December 16, 2016

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>> Swiss parliament passing a law Friday aimed at curbing immigration. Locals will now be given first crack at open jobs. This decision avoiding voters demand for outright quotas as expressed in a 2014 referendum. While the bill may please Brussels, the right wing Swiss People's Party, the largest in Parliament, is accusing other parties of caving into Brussels and ignoring the people's will.
Its members holding up signs in the Chamber, reading breach of the constitution and mass immigration continues. Reuter's Michael Shields is in Zurich.>> It was parliament had to kind of square the policy circle here because they were confronted with two diametrically opposite requirements. One was to implement the law as this was voters had amended the constitution to say.
In other words, they had to have limits on immigration. On the other side, Switzerland has agreed with European Union to have the freedom of the people. And this is one of the pillars of the bilateral agreements between the two sides. That fostered trade between the two sides.>> The Swiss Parliament decision to favor the free movement of people has been hailed as a move in the right direction, by the European Commission.
Other EU members will now need to be consulted. Brussels has shown little inclination to compromise on the free movement of people, so as not to encourage Brittain after its June Brexit vote.>> It's a very touchy subject, actually because the European Union is loathe to send a signal to Britain after the Brexit vote that they're going to be flexible in the freedom of movement.
And the Swiss and the EU agreed years ago that there will be freedom of movement as the price for Swiss access to the market.>> A quarter of the population in Switzerland is foreign. The debate there in many ways mirrors that in Britain. This time Swiss lawmakers chose to avoid a row.