"Our turn for a referendum" - French and Dutch leaders calls for referendum on EU membership

By Reuters   June 24, 2016 | 12:22 pm GMT+7
"Our turn for a referendum" - French and Dutch leaders calls for referendum on EU membership
Demonstrators call for people to vote no in the EU referendum during a protest at Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands April 3, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Cris Toala Olivares

Dutch anti-immigration leader Geert Wilders called on Friday for a referendum on the Netherlands' membership in the European Union after Britain voted to leave the 28-member bloc.

Wilders, who is leading opinion polls, said if he is elected prime minister in March general elections in the Netherlands he too will call a referendum.

"We want be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy," he said in a statement.

"As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union."

A survey by a television channel Een Vandaag this week found that 54 percent of the people in the Netherlands, a founding EU member, want a referendum.

Dutch voters have twice voiced strong anti-EU sentiment at the polls, most recently in April when a vast majority rejected the Ukraine-EU treaty in a nonbinding referendum.

"It is time for a new start, relying on our own strength and sovereignty. Also in the Netherlands," Wilders said.

"If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide." (Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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Geert Wilders, president of Netherlands' PVV (Party for Freedom) delivers a speech during the France's far-right National Front congress in Lyon November 29, 2014. Photo by Reuters/Robert Pratta

Our turn for a referendum, says French far right FN

France's far right National Front party called for a referendum on European Union membership in France on Friday as Britain voted to leave the bloc.

"The liberty of peoples always wins in the end! Bravo to the United Kingdom," said FN deputy leader Florian Philippot on Twitter. "Our turn now #Brexit #Frexit."

The FN has long called for France to exit the EU and has performed well in recent elections, even though it has yet to break through effectively in second-round voting.

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