Dutch far-right MP Wilders calls for referendum on EU

Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Friday called for the Netherlands to hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU.

Published: 24th June 2016 11:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2016 11:28 AM   |  A+A-


THE HAGUE: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Friday called for the Netherlands to hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU, shortly after Britain voted for a Brexit.

"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 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."

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.

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 percent voted against the deal.

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