chapter  1
14 Pages



Not many months ago a serving officer in the Royal Air Force was quoted in The Times as saying that he wanted Britain to emulate Switzerland and have nothing whatsoever to do with the European Union [EU].1 His assessment is widely shared. So, when Pascal Lamy said that, if Britain chose to vote “No” to the Constitutional Treaty, it could finish up in the same situation as Switzerland, many Eurosceptics carolled “Yes please!”.2 Yet such views are based on a misapprehension because Switzerland actually has a great deal to do with the EU even if it is not a member and sometimes seems to share the British desire for “splendid isolation” from Europe. In fact Switzerland is surprisingly deeply integrated in “Europe”.3 In other words, the Swiss-EU relationship, as well as being misunderstood, is close and somewhat contradictory.