After Brexit, should we get ready for ‘Nexit’? Could the Netherlands follow Britain’s lead, and hold its own referendum on EU membership? Or are the Dutch much more comfortable with European citizenship than their island neighbours across the North Sea?
We had a comment sent in from Jill on our ‘Suggest a Debate’ page, asking whether more countries (including the Netherlands) should hold referendums on EU membership. We’ll be recording interviews on this topic, but we also wanted to throw it out to our audience: What do our other readers think?
The eurosceptic Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom, hopes to convince his fellow countrymen and women that life outside the EU is the place to be. Under current Dutch law, this is impossible (referendums can cover only new legislation and treaties, and are anyway only advisory). However, if Wilders’ party wins enough seats to lobby for the law to be changed, then it is not outside the realms of possibility…
Polling suggests that 53% of Dutch voters are against the idea of an EU referendum. However, much will depend on what happens to the Eurozone economy over the coming years, as well as how the Brexit votes impacts British fortunes. If the UK does nicely outside Europe, while EU economies stagnate, then it might make the exit door look more tempting.
Could the Netherlands ever hold a referendum on EU membership? Should more EU Member States follow the example of the UK, and hold referendums on EU membership? Would that be the democratic thing to do? Let us know your thoughts