12:43 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Kristian Jensen

    Domino Effect: ‘Brexit’ May Lead to ‘Denxit’ as Danes May Follow UK’s Move

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    Denmark's Foreign Minister, Kristian Jensen of the conservative Liberal Party, believes that the EU has chosen to pursue an agenda that inhibits the self-determination of its member states.

    The Danish Foreign Minister has been an ardent supporter of the EU, but still recognizes that the EU is "off track" and at worst may shatter.

    "There should be less interference in member states' social systems and cultural situations and more respect for the countries that choose their own path," he told the newspaper Berlingske.

    "We have to ensure that Brussels focuses on the right things…the EU's core tasks such as cross-border problems," he told the newspaper.

    With Great Britain facing a referendum on whether to split from the EU on June 23, Kristian Jensen nevertheless hopes that the British end up voting yes to remain in the union.

    According to him, British EU membership is an important prerequisite for the reforms the EU is in dire need of. Jensen argues that the British government may be a driving force behind the reforms if the country remains in the EU. An EU without Britain would be a catastrophe, as the union would be doomed to go from bad to worse. Moreover, Brexit would tip the balance of power in the EU, and Denmark would find it more difficult to influence Brussels in the future, when it loses its closest allies.

    "Should Britain leave the EU, Denmark will lose one of its closest allies in European cooperation. We have not agreed with the UK about everything, but we do agree very, very much," Jensen told Berlingske.

    According to Jensen, Brexit would be a great loss, impairing Denmark's opportunity to influence the situation in Europe.

    Kristian Thulesen Dahl, leader of the oppositional, EU sceptic and right-wing populist Danish People's Party DF, is very satisfied with the Left finally recognizing that the EU has become too bossy and is seeking to determine too much.

    "The Liberal Party's recent announcement may be a recognition that the EU now enjoys too much power. However, this may also be interpreted that the population in Denmark is basically more skeptical about the EU than the parliament majority, and that it is unsustainable in the long run," he argued in an interview with Politico.

    Regardless of whether Brits vote yes or no to a new EU agreement, Danish People's Party leader insists that Denmark must follow its perhaps closest ally and distance itself from the European community.

    "It is a moment of truth for the whole Europe, including Denmark. We must not twiddle our thumbs as they do in Brussels and think ‘Oh, now there is a vote in Britain.' Instead, the British referendum may give Denmark possibilities that we do not dream of today, and we must seize them," Dahl said.

    "The discussion about the EU always begins and ends with the same thing, whether we shall take Denmark out of the EU. In my terminology, we should not opt out, but aim at a new type of cooperation instead," Dahl said.

    Recently, DF's Coordinating Committee was on a political trip to London, where they met with British politicians from both wings of the EU issue and other experts. Besides Dahl, the committee included group leader Peter Skaarup, deputy chairman Søren Espersen, a member of the European Parliament Morten Messerschmidt and press officer Søren Søndergaard.

    European Union, Brexit, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, Kristian Jensen, Scandinavia, Denmark
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