"In the next decade, Denmark will follow the UK and leave the European Union,” Danish People's Party MEP Morten Messerschmidt has predicted.
“I am sure that Denmark will have left the EU by 2030. I think Brexit will be a great success and that many people around the continent will envy the way the British have disengaged – having regained control over borders, immigration, social policy, etc. and not being hit financially. And I also believe more countries will demand referendums and opt out,” Messerschmidt told the newspaper BT.
Messerschmidt suggested that it is a false argument that Denmark cannot live without the EU. The UK, he ventured, will fare well by concluding free trade agreements with other major economies around the world, forcing the EU to follow suit and kindle the desire for similar deals in “Denmark, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and other critical countries”.
Messerschmidt dismissed the popular scare scenarios about what could possibly go wrong in the UK after Brexit, which include shortages of food, medicines and other staples, a spike in gas and electricity prices and delays in traffic, as horror stories.
“Those scare stories we've heard every single time there's been a no in the works: about euro, opt-outs, etc. Every time a country threatens to say no to the EU, you hear the world will collapse. However, it is still to happen. The British have survived and defeated Napoleon, Emperor Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler. So I think they can handle the little challenge of leaving the EU,” the Danish MEP suggested.
According to Messerschmidt, it's not without a reason that this is not something you hear in the news, as many in Brussels “fear that Brexit will become a success”, predicting that they will change their tune, when the UK is finally out.
“It may be some time before the dust settles. That's also why I give it time and say 10 years. By that time, I think, several countries will have held referendums and opted out,” he said. “Denmark can't just sign out now like the British. We don't have the same strength economically, militarily and politically. But once the British advance, Denmark can join their line of free trade agreements,” he concluded.
The right-wing Danish People's Party, currently third-largest in Denmark, has collaborated with various centre-right governments, while not being part of the cabinet. Some of its stated goals are to protect the freedom and cultural heritage of the Danish people, including the family, the monarchy and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, to strictly enforce the rule of law, and to work against multiculturalism by limiting immigration and promoting the cultural assimilation of admitted immigrants. The party strictly opposes a cession of Denmark's sovereignty to the EU and wants to maintain the Danish krone.
In Scandinavia, the Eurosceptic sentiment is shared, to varying degree, by fellow right-wingers the Sweden Democrats, the Norwegian Progress Party, and the Finns.