EU Commission Proposes Visa-Free Travel For Ukrainians Despite Dutch ‘No’

The European Commission is to press ahead with plans to grant visa-free travel to 45 million Ukrainians, despite over 60 per cent of Dutch voters rejecting the European Union (EU)-Ukraine trade deal last week.

An unnamed senior EU source told Reuters that the EU had promised Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko it would implement the measure and it was bound to keep its word.

“It may look as if we’re ignoring the Dutch voters,” the source conceded, before admitting: “But we have to keep our word to Ukraine, which has met the conditions.”

After the referendum result last week, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said ratification of the trade deal could not automatically go forward, but the European Commission has called on Dutch leaders to “reflect” on the result.

Mr Rutte has already promised Mr Poroshenko that he will champion the “granting of a visa free travel regime” for Ukrainian citizens, giving them visa-free access to the open borders Schengen zone.

Even if the Dutch government does oppose the plans, however, it will only require a qualified majority of EU member states from the deal to be ratified.

Writing for Breitbart London in the run up to the referendum, Dutch politician Geert Wilders said the EU had become an “expansionist monster” and called for the bloc to be “abolished”.

“Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, warns for a major continental crisis if the Dutch reject the treaty,” Mr Wilders wrote. “This is nonsense.”

“It might be another crisis for the EU, but it would only have itself to blame for this. The EU is ruled by an undemocratic bureaucracy and ever more Europeans have enough of it. And no one can prevent the Dutch people using this referendum to voice their dislike of the EU, and of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the present chairman of the European Council.”

Thierry Baudet, one of the main instigators behind the referendum, reacted to the latest developments by Tweeting “What the f***?”, later adding: “Mark, no is no.”

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