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Bern explains procedure after deportation vote

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has briefed European justice and interior ministers on the acceptance by the Swiss of an initiative to deport foreign criminals.

Sommaruga was in Brussels on Thursday for a meeting of a mixed Schengen committee. Non- EU member Switzerland belongs to the Schengen area where there are no internal border controls between its 25 member states.

She told the ministers about the results of the deportation vote on November 28 – supported by 52.9 per cent of those who cast a ballot – and what would now happen.

Sommaruga explained that the Swiss government would now submit a draft law to parliament enshrining the provisions of the initiative.

She said solutions had to be found to avoid possible conflict between the new clauses in the constitution and Switzerland’s obligations in international accords, including the treaty on the free movement of people with the EU.

Sommaruga emphasised that Switzerland was a reliable partner and indicated that the government would strive for legislation which respected both its own constitution and international law.

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