Germany Warns Of Brexit Domino Effect
Germany is warning of a Brexit domino effect as far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands demand their own EU referendums.
Germany fears France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary may follow the UK and leave the EU, a government paper says.
The finance ministry strategy paper expresses concern that the UK’s historic vote may trigger a Brexit domino effect across Europe, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.
It recommends that the EU enters into negotiations aimed at making the UK an “associated partner country” for the remaining 27 nations.
As it stands, the UK’s exit may cause Germany’s contribution to the EU’s budget to rise by 3bn euros (£2.44bn) a year, the paper adds.
Germany’s warning came hours after UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared the “EU is dying” as far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands demanded their own referendums on EU membership.
France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen changed her Twitter profile picture to a Union Jack and declared “victory for freedom,” while the Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders said: “The Dutch people deserve a referendum as well.”
Political leaders in Hungary and Poland stopped short of calling for their own referendums, but warned that the bloc must reevaluate its response to a number of issues, including the migration crisis, in the wake of the UK’s decision.
“Brussels must hear the voice of the people, this is the biggest lesson from this decision,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio.
“Why is Hungary in the EU? Hungary is in the EU because we believe in a strong Europe,” Orban said.
“But Europe is strong only if it can give answers to major issues such as immigration that would strengthen Europe itself and not weaken it. The EU failed to give these answers.”
The head of Poland’s ruling party, meanwhile, said the referendum result signalled the need for EU reform.
He urged the bloc to negotiate a new treaty to help it preserve its unity.
“The conclusion is obvious. We need a new European treaty,” said Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who heads the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party.
“We need a positive reaction, and not persistent movement in the same direction, a direction which has led to crisis.”
Fears of a eurosceptic domino effect across Europe have, however, also prompted an outpouring of calls for strengthened European unity.
Poland’s President Andrezej Duda said: “Everything must be done to prevent other countries leaving.”
And, in a statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There is no point beating about the bush: today is a watershed for Europe, it is a watershed for the European unification process.”