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In wake of Brexit, right-wing MPs in France, Netherland call for referendum

French MP Marine Le Pen (Right), Dutch MP Geert Wilders (Left) call for referendum after Brexit Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Europe Jun 24, 2016, 07.42 AM (IST)
Reacting to Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) on Friday, right-wing Members of Parliament (MP) in France and Netherland have also given a call for referendum. 

Hailing Britain's decision, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen took to micro blogging site to share her views. "Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries," the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.

The eurosceptic, anti-immigration FN has accused the EU of suffering a "democratic deficit" and has long urged all members of the bloc to follow Britain's example.

The Brexit vote is likely to fire up eurosceptic populists across the bloc, with Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders also calling for an EU referendum in his own country following the result.

Fears are high that a domino effect could see other countries following in Britain`s footsteps, threatening the core of the European project.

"France has possibly a thousand more reasons to want to leave the EU than the English," Le Pen said at a gathering of far-right parties in Vienna last Friday.

Le Pen has accused the EU of pursuing closer integration "against our will".

She says the union is responsible for high eurozone unemployment and has failed to keep out "smugglers, terrorists (and) economic migrants".

Dutch far-right MP also calls for NExit 
Shortly after Britain voted for a Brexit, Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders called for the Netherlands to hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU. 

"The Dutch people deserve a referendum as well. The Party for Freedom consequently demands a referendum on NExit, a Dutch EU exit," Wilders said in a statement.

With 374 out of 382 regional results declared in Britain, there were 16.8 million votes for "Leave" and 15.7 million for "Remain", making it mathematically impossible for "Remain" to win.

"We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy," Wilders said in a statement. If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide,” he was quoted saying. 

The Netherlands, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, held a referendum earlier this year on whether to back closer cooperation between the EU and Ukraine. Turnout was low, but over 60 per cent voted against the deal.

Elections are not due in the Netherlands until next year, but since last year polls have consistently shown support for the Freedom Party (PVV) climbing on the back of the refugee crisis. 

Although it is has slipped back in recent months, the last polls from May showed Wilders' party would win the largest support gaining some 31 seats in the 150-seat party, more than doubling its current 15 seats.

The statement sent by Wilders' PVV said that recent polls showed a majority of Dutch people were in favour of holding a referendum, and that most would vote to leave.

(AFP) 
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