Rabat - The UK’s shocking decision to exit the European Union has prompted right-wing parties throughout the continent to consider doing the same.
Rabat – The UK’s shocking decision to exit the European Union has prompted right-wing parties throughout the continent to consider doing the same.
New terms combining each country’s name with “exit” are likewise appearing even before the aftermath of Brexit has become clear.
While most national and international commentators are concerned with the future of Britain and the viability of the EU itself after this decision, opposition parties across the region are lauding the UK’s vote and hoping to galvanize public support for a similar referendum within their own nations.
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party, has long been a Eurosceptic and encourages the French citizens to reject international oversight from Brussels. She cited Brexit as the greatest European event since the fall of the Berlin Wall. She also called the EU “objectively a total failure.” Time magazine reports her advocating a “the birth of the Europe of nations” as she anticipates the international body’s impending collapse.
Victoire de la liberté ! Comme je le demande depuis des années, il faut maintenant le même référendum en France et dans les pays de l’UE MLP
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) June 24, 2016
Le Pen recognizes the need to win the French presidency in next year’s election cycle in order to organize a referendum on a so-called “Frexit.” As the chief opposition figure, this lies well within the realm of possibility.
In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, who leads the anti-immigration Freedom Party, also celebrated the news of Brexit. He warned the EU against punishing the UK following their decision. Citing the dangers of isolating such a large trading partner, Wilders was concerned with detrimental economic ramifications. “If you punish them, you punish yourself, and the people are fed up with playing political games,” he said. His Freedom Party is polling ahead of all other political parties, although a coalition of his mostly pro-Europe opponents would outnumber his party. Nonetheless, he calls for a “Nexit” referendum.
Brexit -> Nexit pic.twitter.com/A7sLmubPHh
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 11, 2016
The Italian anti-immigration Northern League headed by Matteo Salvini has called for Italy to hold its own referendum, to achieve an “Italexit.” Following news of the UK’s decision, the Northern League reportedly said: “Now it’s our turn.”
Dopo la Brexit, adesso tocca alla #RENXIT
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) June 24, 2016
In Sweden, both Jonas Sjostedt of the Left Party and Paula Bieler of the anti-immigration Democrats Party oppose the EU, with Bieler stating that “Swexit will follow” on Twitter.
— Paula Bieler (@PaulaBieler) June 24, 2016
Pew Research Center has ranked Euroscepticism in EU nations. The United Kingdom only lists third most Eurosceptic on their list, at 48% unfavorable views. France is at second with 61%, and Greece leads with 71% disapproval. While Greece’s view is unsurprising, especially given last year’s Grexit vote, France has the potential to truly cripple the international body. The withdrawal of one of the EU’s chief architects and dominant economic powers could bring down the entire system. While the other European nations have prudently determined their “exit” terms beforehand, it is a “Frexit” that should most concern EU supporters. Prospects for a Frexit remain uncertain, and the future of the EU may well depend upon Britain’s progress in the coming months.
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