French, Dutch far-right leaders urge vote on leaving EU
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French, Dutch far-right leaders urge vote on leaving EU

After UK votes to leave 28-nation bloc, Marine Le Pen hails 'victory' and Geert Wilders says 'Dutch people deserve a referendum as well'

French far-right Front National (FN) president Marine Le Pen during a campaign rally in Paris, December 10, 2015 (AFP/Patrick Kovarik)
French far-right Front National (FN) president Marine Le Pen during a campaign rally in Paris, December 10, 2015 (AFP/Patrick Kovarik)

French and Dutch far-right leaders on Friday called for a national referendum on European Union membership, shortly after Britain voted to leave the 28-nation bloc.

France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen on Friday hailed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and called for a similar vote in France.

“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.

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

“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.”

Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP/Patrick Post)
Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP/Patrick Post)

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 favor 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.

Leave EU supporters wave Union flags and cheer as the results come in at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London early in the morning of June 24, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / GEOFF CADDICK)
Leave EU supporters wave Union flags and cheer as the results come in at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London early in the morning of June 24, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / GEOFF CADDICK)
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