Britain has little say over decisions made in the European Union (EU), which is increasingly dominated by Germany, the Prime Minister of Iceland has said.
Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson claimed that the UK is wielding “diminishing power” within the bloc as many of its institutions are still under the sway of France and Germany.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Gunnlaugsson said: “When it comes to the big stuff the decisions are made by two, and increasingly one country.
“Others are called to meetings to approve of what has been decided, if not in the afternoon then during the middle of the night.
“This seems to have become the standard way of doing things in Brussels.”
Iceland has never joined the EU and withdrew its application for membership last year after opening talks in 2009. It is held up as an example for Britain if it decides to leave the EU as it still has access to the single market and is also a member of the European Free Trade Area along with Norway and Liechtenstein.
Mr Gunnlaugsson also said Iceland was ready to open trade talks with Britain should it vote to leave the EU.
“The UK is one of our most important trading partners and whatever you decide to do we would like to have a free trade deal with you, whether through the EEA [European Economic Area] or independently,” he said.
UKIP’s Trade Spokesman William Dartmouth MEP welcomed Mr Gunnlaugsson’s comments, saying: “What this demonstrates today is that Project Fear is in fact Project False, the UK would continue to trade profitably after Brexit.
“It is clear that the world is pragmatic and recognises that the UK is a great place to do business with, the thing is it will be an even better place to do business with when we have the freedom to act in our own interest, after we have voted to Leave the European Union”.
“Rich countries like Iceland don’t want to join the EU because it costs them too much. The sooner we leave the more prosperous we will be, its time to GO!”