The populist Danish People’s Party are looking to capitalise on the momentum of a potential Brexit in order to get Denmark out of the European Union (EU).
The Danes by nature aren’t the most pro-EU country. Aside from the UK, Denmark is considered the least integrated into the structures of the politico-trading bloc and is broadly sceptical of the idea of ever closer federation. The Danish People’s Party (DF) have always been sceptical of the EU, but now there is a growing momentum in the party to advocate leaving entirely, Spiegel reports.
The DF has outlined two scenarios based on the results of the British referendum. Should the British public vote to leave the EU the DF claims that Prime Minister David Cameron and his Tory government will have to look into creating less formal links to the EU and will pioneer a path for future nations who would like to exit the political bloc.
The populists believe that with the groundwork already done for them in regards to what leaving the EU would look like, a referendum would be far more successful in Denmark.
The second outcome would of course be the UK remaining in the EU which the DF claims would also have benefits for Denmark. The party said that they foresee the possibility of Denmark renegotiating their EU membership as David Cameron attempted to, in order to have greater control over their borders and take a measure of sovereignty back from Brussels, and still possibly have a referendum.
The DF puts a lot of faith in the success of a Danexit because they say that although the majority of the political parties in the Danish parliament are pro-EU, the Danish public are increasingly sceptical of the European project. A survey conducted earlier this year showed that the Danish public showed as much support for leaving the EU as the British population in the event of a Brexit.
Britain and Denmark share a strong relationship in Europe in terms of trade. If Britain leaves the Danes may face barriers to trade if British goods are subjected to European Union tariffs, hurting the Danish economy.
The National Bank of Denmark has already begun purchasing foreign currency as an attempt to offset any effect Brexit may have on the Danish krone. The bank announced that it may even be forced to tie the exchange rate of the krone to the euro, effectively handing over control of the currency to Brussels.
This is not the first time the DF have called for a referendum on membership of the political bloc. In April of this year leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said Brexit could be a “momentous” opportunity to strike trade deals and cooperation in Europe without the need for input from European bureaucrats.