Prior to Switzerland signing up to accords with the EU in 2002, the Federasts maintained trade and economic restrictions that hurt. Since 2002, the Swiss have enjoyed, in the words of a government minister, 'Ten fat years' in which the economy has boomed and the people grown wealthy. But this has come at a price - the loss of cultural and national identity from a million EU immigrants flooding across the open borders.
The people of Switzerland have decided narrowly that the price of prosperity is too high, and have voted to restrict EU immigration. This places at risk all the other arms of the 2002 accords - and of putting them back to the pre-2002 position. They knew they faced severe economic penalties by defying the EU, yet still they have done so.
The reaction of Brussels - vindictive counter-restrictions or soft accommodation - will be instructive.