The Danish People’s Party, which is expected to hold the balance of power after next month’s general election, is calling for a referendum on Denmark’s membership of the EU. Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said his aims for reform were similar to those of David Cameron.
Although a referendum on membership in the country is unlikely to happen, the Irish Independent reports the demand is “energising” right-wing parties across Northern Europe.
Support for anti-EU parties has risen in recent years, not least in Britain were the EU referendum will focus on whether to reform the bloc or leave it altogether. The Danes aims are similar to those of the British, limits on access to benefits for EU migrants, cuts to the EU’s budget and bureaucracy, and ending a commitment to an “ever closer union” contained in the Treaty of Rome.
Mr Thulesen Dahl said: “We have seen the things David Cameron has pointed out are very much the same things that we would like to change when it comes to our membership of the EU.”
He continued: “Denmark is a very small country, but Britain is very big. It’s much easier for Britain to have a new deal than Denmark.”
The People’s Party is currently polling around 20 per cent, and could therefore have the power to put the centre-right Liberal Party in power. Thulesen Dahl said it was unlikely that his party would be a full coalition partner, but if it did it would demand an EU referendum as part of the deal.
He said: “The EU question is one of our top priorities, so of course it is difficult to see a situation after the general election where we join a government and can’t fight for this.”
The complication with his demand is that both the Liberal Party and the Social Democrats are pro-European. They are proposing their own referendum on Denmark joining into a common justice system with the rest of the EU.