In the immediate wake of the UK referendum calling for Great Britain to leave the European Union, other nationalist leaders have jumped on board, calling for their respective countries to follow Britain’s lead and exit the EU.
The passionate reactions to the UK vote showcase a worldwide political phenomenon uniting unlikely bedfellows in a common populist, anti-global movement that eschews traditional categories of left and right.
As a Forbes article pointed out Wednesday, the new movement brings together “Virginia Raggi and Chiara Appendino of Italy, Marine Le Pen of France, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Nigel Farage of Britain, Pablo Iglesias of Spain, Beata Szydlo of Poland, Norbert Hofer of Austria, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Donald Trump of the United States and Brexit.”
Marine Le Pen (pictured), for instance, chief of France’s Front National (FN) cheered the Brexit results, telling RTL radio: “Like a lot of French people, I’m very happy that the British people held on and made the right choice. What we thought was impossible yesterday has now become possible.”
Le Pen’s niece, Marion Le Pen, one of FN’s two parliamentarians, tweeted that it is “high time” to bring democracy back to France. “From #Brexit to #Frexit, she said, referring to France following Great Britain in getting out of the European Union.
— Marion Le Pen (@Marion_M_Le_Pen) June 24, 2016
As Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called an emergency defensive huddle with French President François Hollande and Germany’s Prime Minister Angela Merkel, Europe’s alternative parties called for an end to business as usual at the service of the European Union.
Matteo Salvini, the head of Italy’s Northern League party applauded the Brexit results. “Hurrah for the courage of free citizens! Heart, head and pride beat lies, threats and blackmail. THANKS UK, now it’s our turn,” he said in a tweet.
Evviva il coraggio dei liberi cittadini!
Cuore, testa e orgoglio battono bugie, minacce e ricatti.
GRAZIE UK, ora tocca a noi. #Brexit
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) June 24, 2016
In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom sent a similar message to his followers, suggesting that “Nexit” is the logical sequel to Brexit, and calling for a referendum on the Dutch membership of the European Union.
“I think it’s historic,” Wilders told Dutch radio. “I think it could also have huge consequences for the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Now it’s our turn. I think the Dutch people must now be given the chance to have their say in a referendum.”
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