Most Swiss companies expect to see the EU shrink thanks to Brexit
A survey of 2,500 Swiss companies by UBS bank found 65 per cent of of chief executives believed there would be further withdrawals from the embattled union, after Britain became the first nation in EU history to rescind its membership.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but is tied to the bloc through a series of bilateral agreements, including the free movement of people, which allows the Alpine nation access to the European single market.
The survey found that half of the companies thought Brexit and similar withdrawals would be bad for business, if it meant the end of freedom of movement.
Among firms with more than 50 per cent of sales abroad, the figure was 70 per cent.
A further 65 per cent of companies wanted to increase the number of bilateral treaties with the EU, and only 10 per cent wanted to see them terminated completely.
Of the 8.3 million inhabitants of Switzerland, some 1.4 million are from the EU.
After Italians, Germans are the second-largest group with around 300,000.
The survey was conducted by Swiss bank UBS
Switzerland voted to limit immigration into the country in a referendum in February 2014, a result that threatened to nullify the Swiss-EU relationship.
The Swiss government, seeking not to damage its relationship with the EU, drew up a solution that angered members of the Swiss People's Party, which sponsored the original referendum.
It agreed not to limit immigration through quotas, as the referendum had called for, but to allow companies in areas where the unemployment rate was above average to prioritise Swiss jobseekers over foreigners.
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