Eurosceptic Dutch politician Geert Wilders has vowed to push ahead with plans for a referendum to leave the European Union (EU) in the wake of Britain’s Brexit vote.
Although one attempt to organise a vote on a so-called “Nexit” has already failed, Mr Wilders has pledged to make it a central policy of the Freedom Party (PVV) for next March’s general election.
Speaking to AFP, Mr Wilders said Brexit was an “enormous victory”. “Britain regained national sovereignty, became a free and independent country again,” he added.
He also said that any economic pain Britain experiences after Brexit will only be temporary.
“In the longer run both economically and politically, it will prove that Britain made the right choice and got rid of all those unelected politicians in Brussels who decided on their monetary policy, on their budget policy and their immigration policy,” he said.
He insisted that the Netherlands would also be better off outside the European Union, and called for the return of the Dutch guilder currency that was scrapped in 2002 to make way for the euro.
“Brussels — of course you cannot compare it with the Soviet Union — but at the end of the day it is a totalitarian, Soviet-like institution,” Wilders said.
“It is easier to change North Korea than it will be the European Union,” he added.
As well as Euroscepticism, Mr Wilders is known for his strong anti-Islamification stance. In an article for Breitbart yesterday, he wrote: “Islam is an existential threat to Western civilisation. No honest individual can say with a straight face that it is a doctrine of peace or freedom.”
“The wisdom of the people commands us to do something about the threat of Islam,” he added. “Our governments must face reality before it is too late. Islam does not belong in Europe. We must stop all immigration from Islamic countries and start de-islamizing.”