Following the historic Brexit vote, in which the United Kingdom declared its independence from the European Union, other member states are now considering doing the same thing. These six countries could be next: Sweden, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, and France.
As The Washington Post noted, Sweden is the “Scandinavian equivalent of Britain.” They agree on 90% of political issues, and like the UK, Sweden even refused to adopt the Euro as their currency. Sweden’s difficulty in integrating the hundreds of thousands of refugees that came into their country last year has already sparked an independence movement, and the Brexit only strengthens it.
As for Denmark, immigration again seems to be the driving force behind their potential exit from the 28-member EU. As The Washington Post reported:
First, many Danes fear that more immigration or an influx of refugees could threaten the small nation’s welfare system. Second, Denmark has so far relied on Britain as a strong ally in negotiations with the E.U. as both countries have had similar policy stances.
Greece’s situation has less to do with a strong sense of nationalism or desire for sovereignty and more to do with the fact that the EU may boot them out, a decision stemming mostly from Greece’s ongoing debt crises:
…[W]hat Greece fears most is not an anti-E.U. referendum influenced by right-wing parties, but rather the E.U. pushing Greece out in order to save cohesion among the remaining members.
The Netherlands may also have a large enough independence streak to consider leaving the EU. Geert Wilders heads up the Dutch Party for Freedom – or Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) – which is described as being a populist, right wing party. He also attended that “Draw Muhammad” cartoon event in Garland, Texas that ended up being the target of a shooting. According to the BBC, his Party for Freedom “currently tops Dutch opinion polls.” In an interview with the BBC, he said:
“I think it will be a good thing if people from the UK vote to leave this political project…. I believe it will mean that other countries, like perhaps my own, will find it an enormous incentive to regain their national sovereignty.
“I’m talking about a patriotic spring…. If we want to survive as a nation, we have to stop immigration and stop Islamisation…. We cannot do that inside the European Union.”
Hungary is having to deal with the influx of refugees also, an issue that may push the country to leave the EU. The Washington Post reported:
[Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orban is planning to hold a referendum in Hungary that could hurt E.U. cohesion. After last year’s influx of refugees into the country, Hungarians will be asked to decide whether the E.U. should be allowed to resettle refugees despite a lack of consent by national parliaments affected by the decision.
As with other countries in Europe, France has had issues with a weak economy, Islamic terrorism and immigration, problems which the French people often blame on the EU. According to recent polls, about 61% of French have an unfavorable view of the European Union. In addition, France’s right-wing National Front party is led by Marine Le Pen – a Brexit supporter – and whose party is expected to make political gains in upcoming elections.