Wednesday 29 June 2016 - 10:29

EU may face tsunami of Brexit-like referendums: Study

Story Code : 549575
A British flag is seen next to the word "European", during a press conference of British Prime minister on June 28, 2016 in Brussels.
A British flag is seen next to the word "European", during a press conference of British Prime minister on June 28, 2016 in Brussels.
The survey published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) said that extreme “insurgent parties” are calling for a total of 34 referendums on issues ranging from EU memberships to refugee policy.
The study blamed fear of Turkey joining the bloc as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door refugee policy as the main reasons for the rise in support for right-wing and anti-EU political parties.
ECFR director Mark Leonard said many of these “insurgent parties” have harsh foreign policy views. "They are overturning an elite foreign policy consensus based on Atlanticism and liberal democracy that has dominated for the last fifty years,” he added.
The study said France’s National Front (FN) was inspired by the Brexit and the party leader Marine Le Pen said she wanted to have a "Frexit," a referendum on taking France out of the Eurozone.
The ECFR report also predicted that a "Nexit" could be sparked in the Netherlands. The right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) wants Britain-like referendum to decide about the country’s membership to the bloc in a public vote.  
The report also said that an "Italexit" could also be possible as 48 percent of Italians said in a recent poll that they would leave the bloc if the country held a referendum.
Hungary’s ruling party also wants a vote on EU’s policy in regards to accepting a huge number of refugees.
“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,” Leonard said.
“Even where they don’t win power directly, they are so politically powerful that they are forcing mainstream parties to adopt their positions,” he added.
In a referendum held in the UK last week, a majority of Britons voted to leave the 28-member bloc after 43 years of membership. Britain’s exit has raised concerns of a domino effect among other EU members.
The UK should invoke Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty in order to set out a two-year timetable for negotiations on withdrawal.
UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said earlier this week that Britain should agree on a deal to enjoy single market access but limit the freedom of movement of people.
Merkel told the German parliament on Tuesday that there will be no negotiations with London “based on the principle of cherry-picking.” 
"This is as true for Great Britain as for anybody else. Free access to the single market will be granted to a country which accepts the four fundamental freedoms of movement of people, goods, services and capital," she said.
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