‘Britain got the first shot in’:

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen says ‘politicians are afraid’ amid calls for THIRTY FOUR separate EU referendums across Europe


  • Eurosceptic parties across continent will now demand their own OUT poll
  • Italy’s 5-Star movement has called for a referendum on retaining the euro
  • France’s Marine Le Pen said today Brexit was ‘victory for democracy’
  • Hungary’s Viktor Orban has called a referendum on the influx of refugees  

Britain ‘got the first shot in’ by voting to leave the EU, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has said amid calls for 34 separate EU referendums across Europe.

The French National Front leader said politicians in her country are ‘afraid of the people’ and vowed to call for a similar vote on EU membership if elected as president next year.

It comes after a study suggested Brexit could trigger a tidal wave of up to 34 referendums across Europe on matters ranging from membership to keeping the euro and stopping the influx of refugees.

A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), suggests far-right parties were looking to capitalise on Britain’s vote last week.

 Britain 'got the first shot in' by voting to leave the EU, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has said amid calls for 34 separate EU referendums across Europe

A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'after the Brexit comes the Vallsxit' during a protest on labour reforms

Danish prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen (right) and Danish foreign minister Kristian Jensen speak to media after Britain's voted to leave the European Union

Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of Sweden speak to the media as he attends a European Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium

Sending support: A flash mob   send 'a sign of love to Britain', ahead of the Brexit referendum last weekSending support: A flash mob send ‘a sign of love to Britain’, ahead of the Brexit referendum last week
Speaking to BBC 2’s Newsnight, Le Pen said the Brexit vote was ‘the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ms Le Pen commended ‘the courage of the British people who didn’t allow themselves to be intimidated by the threats, blackmail, and lies of the European elites’.

‘For four years I’ve been demanding that a referendum be organised in France, to ask the French people what they think of the EU – if they want to leave. The Brits got the first shot in, so to speak.’

She added: ‘I congratulate the leaders of “leave” because they have managed to make themselves heard.

‘European leaders were telling us that it’s impossible to leave the EU. Well Brexit has show us that it is possible to do it.’

‘If I win the presidential election, there will be a referendum. The question should be asked in every EU country.

‘The majority of politicians in France oppose a referendum. They are afraid of the people.’

Meanwhile, the ECFR report said the fear of Turkey joining the EU and the rise of Islamophobia were among the reasons why support for anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties was on the rise across the continent.

European president Martin Schultz looked under pressure yesterday  European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, is feeling the heat

The ECFR’s Mark Leonard, quoted in the Daily Express said: ‘Many of these insurgent parties have views on foreign policy that are closer to President Putin than President Obama.

In December, a month after the Paris attacks, France’s Front National recorded 27 percent of the vote in regional elections and today the FN’s leader, Marine Le Pen called Brexit ‘an extraordinary victory for democracy – a slap for a European system based more and more on fear, blackmail and lies.’

She has already called for ‘Frexit’: ‘As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and (other) EU countries.’

Far-Right Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders has called for a ‘Nexit’ vote in the Netherlands.

He has promised to make a referendum vote a priority in next spring’s elections.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban today blamed the EU’s migration policies for the British vote to leave.

French President Francois Hollande has a quiet word with David Cameron at the EU summit in Brussels today

He said: ‘If the EU cannot solve the migration situation, then the challenges we experienced now in the case of the United Kingdom will grow.’

Mr Orban has already announced plans for a referendum later this year on refugees.

The question will be: ‘Do you want the EU, even without the approval of Hungarian parliament, to be able to prescribe the mandatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary?’

Hungary is one of several EU countries which refused to accept the imposition of refugee quotas.

Austria, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have all tightened border controls in response to the arrival of more than a million migrants since last year.

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement, which has been riding high in the polls, has pressed for a referendum on whether to keep the euro.

A survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that antipathy towards the EU is strongest in France and Greece, while Poland is on its own in being staunchly pro-Brussels

5-Star has suggested Europe adopt two different currencies, one for richer countries like Germany and another for less developed nations.

The party’s Luigi di Maio said: ‘We want a consultative referendum on the euro. The euro as it is today does not work. We either have alternative currencies or a “euro 2”.’

Mr Leonard said: ‘We can’t dismiss them as fringe parties – they represent a revolution in European foreign policy. Their chosen weapon is using referenda to whip up popular support on their pet issues.

‘Even where they don’t win power directly, they are so politically powerful that they are forcing mainstream parties to adopt their positions.’

With the European authorities scrambling to formulate a response to the UK’s earthquake decision, here is MailOnline’s analysis of how Brexit contagion may affect key countries within the EU: 

A survey by the Pew Research Center suggested that Poland is the most enthusiastic member of the EU 


There has been a long bond between Britain and Denmark, with it openly supporting David Cameron’s attempt to renegotiate Britain’s deal with the EU.

Like Britain, Denmark benefits from a number of exceptions from EU rules.

The far-Right Danish People’s Party (DPP) has called for the country to hold a referendum of its own following the Brexit vote. Kristian Thulesen Dahls, the leader, has demanded reforms to the EU followed by a vote on membership.

The DPP is not opposed to the EU on principle, but wants to limit the reach of the EU, preventing it from getting involved too closely with the affairs of member states.

It holds 37 seats out of 179 in the parliament, making it the second-largest party in the country.

The close relationship between Denmark, Sweden and the UK raises the likelihood that Brexit will be followed by referendums in those two countries.

Danish prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen speaks to media after Britain's voted to leave the European Union  Social Democrat Mette Frederiksen has said the EU is in a deep 'crisis of legitimacy'

Danish prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen (R) and Danish foreign minister Kristian Jensen speak to media after Britain's voted to leave the European Union


Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Swedes wish to stay in the EU – yet when you consider a Europe without Britain, the results are radically different.

One recent poll by TNS Sifo suggested that 36 per cent of Swedes would vote to leave the EU if the UK opted for Brexit, with only 32 per cent wishing to remain.

The Nordic country has traditionally been one of Britain’s closest EU allies, often voting the same way as the UK in the European Parliament and opting to stay out of the Euro.

Margot Wallstrom, Sweden's Foreign Minister, said she was concerned that Brexit would mean the collapse of the EU

Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, said she was concerned that Brexit would mean the collapse of the EU.

‘That might affect other EU member states that will say, well, if they can leave, maybe we should also have referendums, and maybe we should also leave,’ she told the BBC.

The rapid influx of large numbers of migrants into Sweden in particular has also prompted a resurgence of the far-Right in the country, further inflaming the EU debate.


When the Brexit results were announced, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, tweeted simply ‘victory for freedom’. She then wasted no time in calling for a French referendum modelled on the British vote.

‘I would vote for Brexit, even if I think that France has 1,000 more reasons to leave than the UK,’ she said, referring to the EU as ‘decaying’.

Ms Le Pen has previously called for all member states to hold their own referendums.

France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen, left, shares a joke today with Gerolf Annemans, who leads the Flemish far-right Vlaams Belang party in Belgium

Presidential elections are due in France in 2017, and Ms Le Pen is one of the leading candidates – though polls have suggested that she may not win.

She has consistently argued that the EU is bad for French jobs, and blames it for supposedly allowing criminals to enter the country.

Her insistence on placing the EU on her agenda, together with her growing popularity, raises the likelihood of a Frexit referendum in the years to come.

However, recent polls have placed the number of French citizens who would vote to leave the EU at 41 per cent.


Polls have revealed that 48 per cent of Italians believe they would be better off out of the EU, and would vote to leave given the opportunity.

That figure has increased from 35 per cent over the last year, suggesting that Eurosceptic momentum is building under the weight of Italy’s migration crisis, poor economic performance and youth joblessness.

Earlier this month, the populist Five Star movement vowed it would demand a referendum on the Euro, which would lead to a full-scale vote on EU membership.

This is the latest move in a long-term campaign to put the question of remaining in the Eurozone to the Italian people, as the movement believes that Europe should have two currencies, one for the wealthy northern counties and another for the poorer countries in the south.

The party is growing in popularity. Earlier this month, it won 19 out of 20 mayoral elections in the country, a major headache for prime minister Matteo Renzi.

Beppe Grillo, leader of the populist Five Star movement, said: ¿The mere fact that a country like Great Britain is holding a referendum on whether to leave the EU signals the failure of the EU'

Beppe Grillo, the party’s leader, said: ‘The mere fact that a country like Great Britain is holding a referendum on whether to leave the EU signals the failure of the EU.’

As one of the core members of the EU, an Italian referendum would be extremely damaging to the EU’s integrity.

Meanwhile the leader of the Italian anti-immigrant Northern League called the European Union ‘a cage of crazies’ that is killing jobs and citizen dignity.

Matteo Salvini, who heads the right-wing party, said today that the European Union is ‘the death of our work, our dignity.’

He says his party will push for reviewing and overhauling EU treaties dealing with the euro common currency, trade and immigration.

The League used to be a key ally of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi. But it has increasingly become more right-wing as it seeks alliances with far-right parties across Europe.


A Dutch general election looms in March, and some polls have Geert Wilders, the idiosyncratic, far-Right politician, as the favourite.

Following the Brexit vote, he tweeted, ‘hurrah for the Brits! Now it’s our turn. time for a Dutch referendum!’

For a long time, giving the Dutch a say on Europe has been high on his agenda. ‘As quickly as possible, the Dutch people need the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the EU,’ he has said. ‘If I become prime minister there will be a referendum in the Netherlands… Let the Dutch people decide.’

Latest polls have shown that 54 per cent of Dutch voters are in favour of a referendum on EU membership, making it likely in the next few years.

A Dutch general election looms in March, and some polls have Geert Wilders, the idiosyncratic, far-Right politician, pictured above, as the favourite. Today he called for a referendum for the Dutch


This month, Austria’s new chancellor, Christian Kern, said that Brexit could mean the ‘slow goodbye of the European idea’ unless serious reform is carried out.

‘Whatever the outcome of the British referendum, afterwards Europe will not be able to shy away for a few much-needed debates,’ he said, adding that Brexit would trigger ‘enormous economic upheaval and a shift in the continent’s political balance’.

Austria has a large Eurosceptic movement, as was demonstrated when Norbert Hofer, the far-Right populist candidate, came within a hair’s breadth of winning the presidency. His party, the FPÖ, has experienced a surge in support in recent months.

Austria¿s new chancellor, Christian Kern, pictured today, has said that Brexit could mean the ¿slow goodbye of the European idea¿ unless serious reform is carried out


The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has warned that a Brexit could trigger a ‘Czexit’.

‘The consequences could really be tremendous,’ he told a Czech news agency in May. ‘Debates about leaving the EU could be expected if this country in a few years, too, if Britain left the EU.’

Parties like the Civic Democratic Party or the Czech Communist Party could gain momentum in the aftermath of Brexit, he said, leading to a return to ‘the Russian sphere of influence, which is against our national interests’.

Last year, a poll found that 62 per cent of Czechs would vote to leave the EU in a referendum, amid anger after Brussels forced the country to accept a number of migrants.


Economists have predicted that Greece could exit the Eurozone altogether now that the UK has voted Brexit. The economic uncertainty produced by Britain leaving the EU has the potential to seriously destabilise the Greek economy as it continues to struggle under the weight of long-term structural reforms and debt repayments, the Economist Intelligence Unit said.

The Mediterranean country is one of the most Eurosceptic countries in the EU, with polls revealing that 50 per cent of Greeks believe that the EU has not benefitted their nation.

It has a range of Eurosceptic political parties, including the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and the far-Right ANEL, which are likely to agitate for a referendum in the wake of Brexit.

Troubled: Greece is still in desperate financial straits and economists have predicted that the struggling nation could exit the Eurozone altogether now that the UK has voted Brexit


Pro-EU feeling dominates in Spain. Despite soaring unemployment, a stalled economy and political disenfranchisement, Spanish woes have not yet given rise to a Eurosceptic party.

Spain was able to join the European Community in 1975 after the death of dictator General Franco, by which time they were desperate to join. Some have suggested that it is this sense of relief that continues to inform Spanish Europhilia.

There are more than 760,000 Britons living in Spain. The Prime Minister was careful to reassure ex-patriots that they would not be deported overnight, but many are concerned that they will no longer enjoy the same rights as they did as EU citizens, for example in accessing public healthcare.


Brexit is seen as wholly bad for Poland, and there is huge shock amongst Poles as the implications of Brexit sink in. When Poland joined the EU in 2004, hundreds of thousands of its citizens went to live and work in Europe, 850,000 of them in the UK.

Now that Britain will leave the EU, Poles may have to face the process of applying for work visas, and many may be rejected.

Moreover, the volatility of the financial markets fuelled by Brexit has affected Poland badly. The zloty plummeted in value in its steepest dive since 2011, losing 3.8 per cent against the Euro as the market worried that trade between Britain and Poland would become more difficult.

The removal of the EU’s second-largest economy from the bloc will mean less money to go round, probably meaning that Poland will get fewer handouts to construct infrastructure an roads.

Brexit is seen as wholly bad for Poland, and there was huge shock among Poles as the implications of Brexit sink, with migrants who were flying back on a break from Britain in the airport, above, expressing great concern


Up to 300,000 Hungarians live and work in Britain, and Brexit has caused them immediate anxiety about their future living and working arrangements.

With this in mind, earlier this month, the Hungarian government took out a full-page advertisement in the Daily Mail urging readers to vote Remain.

At the same time, Hungary is one of the most Eurosceptic countries in Europe. Its parliament contains a majority of anti-EU parties, including the neo-Nazi party Jobbik.

Relations between Hungary and Brussels have been strained, particularly over the migration crisis, with Hungary refusing to comply with Germany’s demands and take a quota of refugees.

Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister, has announced a referendum in September or October on whether to accept refugees.

The migrant question has become probably the single most fractious issue in the relationship between Hungarians and the EU, and Brexit is likely to exacerbate these frustrations.

Up to 300,000 Hungarians live and work in Britain, and Brexit has caused them immediate anxiety about their future living and working arrangements. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, pictured in the stands at the Euro Championship this week, took out full page newspaper adverts to try to convince Britain to stay 


As Britain’s closest neighbour, pro-Europe Ireland will inevitably be caught up in the economic turmoil that will dominate at least in the short term after Brexit.

New trade arrangements will need to be drawn up to allow Britain and Ireland to continue their close commercial cooperation.

But the foremost issue that demands consideration is the question of border controls.

The 310mile land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will likely need to be policed when Britain leaves the EU, but the extent to which this will be enforced is far from clear.

This has serious implications for the Northern Ireland peace process, at the heart of which was the gradual easing of the border between the two territories – but also potentially for migration.

The Brexit vote will place fresh emphasis on the need of border controls, risking inflaming old rivalries and setting the peace process back.

One of the most pressing issues facing Irish leader Enda Kenny, pictured right above with Joe Biden, will be the question of border controls between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.