EU BACKLASH: Brexit ‘TSUNAMI’ expected as 34 referendums set to rock union
THE European Union (EU) is about to be rocked by a “political tsunami” with right-wing parties across the continent calling for dozens of in-out referendums.
A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) revealed so-called extreme “insurgent parties” are calling for a total of 34 public votes – with matters ranging from their countries’ membership of the EU to refugee policy.
The ECFR report blamed Europe’s fear of Turkey joining the EU and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “refugees welcome” policy as major reasons behind a rapid rise in support for both right-wing and far-left, anti-EU parties and their attempts to take back control of their countries.
Mark Leonard of ECFR said: “Many of these insurgent parties have views on foreign policy that are closer to President Putin than President Obama.
The report predicted political turmoil and calls for in-out EU votes in a number of countries, in what it said would be a “political earthquake”.
Opposition parties are calling for 34 referenda across the EU
She said: “As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries.”
The report said the party “hopes Brexit will trigger the use of more referenda Europe-wide, and wants to have a referendum on taking France out of the eurozone” – a ‘Frexit’.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the French Front National, who is calling for an in-out vote
The report said a ‘Nexit’ could be sparked due to the perception of “the inflow of refugees as a threat to national identity and the welfare state”.
The right-wing Dutch Party for Freedom is already calling for a referendum, with a poll this month showing that 54 per cent of citizens supported such an opportunity.
Despite being a founder member of the EU, party leader Geert Wilders has promised to make a referendum vote a priority in next spring’s elections – and the party is currently leading in the polls.
An anti-government protest in Italy, where a referendum is also supported by the public
The leader of the right-wing Northern League party Tweeted a celebratory message following last week’s Leave victory: “Long live the courage of free citizens!”
He added: “Heart, head and pride defeated lies, threats and blackmail. THANK YOU, UK, now it’s our turn.”
Mr Leonard concluded in the ECFR report: “We can’t dismiss them as fringe parties – they represent a revolution in European foreign policy. Their chosen weapon is using referenda to whip up popular support on their pet issues.
“Even where they don’t win power directly, they are so politically powerful that they are forcing mainstream parties to adopt their positions.”