Last weeks vote by Britain to leave the European Union could be about to unleash a tidal wave of referendums
A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), suggests far-right parties were looking to surf the wave of europhobia created by the Brexit vote.
The Mail Online reports:
The French National Front leader said politicians in her country are ‘afraid of the people’ and vowed to call for a similar vote on EU membership if elected as president next year.
It comes after a study suggested Brexit could trigger a tidal wave of up to 34 referendums across Europe on matters ranging from membership to keeping the euro and stopping the influx of refugees.
A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), suggests far-right parties were looking to capitalise on Britain’s vote last week.
Speaking to BBC 2’s Newsnight, Le Pen said the Brexit vote was ‘the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.’
Ms Le Pen commended ‘the courage of the British people who didn’t allow themselves to be intimidated by the threats, blackmail, and lies of the European elites’.
‘For four years I’ve been demanding that a referendum be organised in France, to ask the French people what they think of the EU – if they want to leave. The Brits got the first shot in, so to speak.’
She added: ‘I congratulate the leaders of “leave” because they have managed to make themselves heard.
‘European leaders were telling us that it’s impossible to leave the EU. Well Brexit has show us that it is possible to do it.’
‘If I win the presidential election, there will be a referendum. The question should be asked in every EU country.
‘The majority of politicians in France oppose a referendum. They are afraid of the people.’
Meanwhile, the ECFR report said the fear of Turkey joining the EU and the rise of Islamophobia were among the reasons why support for anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties was on the rise across the continent.
The ECFR’s Mark Leonard, quoted in the Daily Express said: ‘Many of these insurgent parties have views on foreign policy that are closer to President Putin than President Obama.
In December, a month after the Paris attacks, France’s Front National recorded 27 percent of the vote in regional elections and today the FN’s leader, Marine Le Pen called Brexit ‘an extraordinary victory for democracy – a slap for a European system based more and more on fear, blackmail and lies.’
She has already called for ‘Frexit’: ‘As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and (other) EU countries.’
Far-Right Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders has called for a ‘Nexit’ vote in the Netherlands.
He has promised to make a referendum vote a priority in next spring’s elections.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban today blamed the EU’s migration policies for the British vote to leave.
He said: ‘If the EU cannot solve the migration situation, then the challenges we experienced now in the case of the United Kingdom will grow.’
Mr Orban has already announced plans for a referendum later this year on refugees.
The question will be: ‘Do you want the EU, even without the approval of Hungarian parliament, to be able to prescribe the mandatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary?’
Hungary is one of several EU countries which refused to accept the imposition of refugee quotas.
Austria, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have all tightened border controls in response to the arrival of more than a million migrants since last year.
Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement, which has been riding high in the polls, has pressed for a referendum on whether to keep the euro.
5-Star has suggested Europe adopt two different currencies, one for richer countries like Germany and another for less developed nations.
The party’s Luigi di Maio said: ‘We want a consultative referendum on the euro. The euro as it is today does not work. We either have alternative currencies or a “euro 2”.’
Mr Leonard said: ‘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.’