Dutch party leaders, MPs reject calls for Nexit referendum
Despite PVV leader Geert Wilders' insistence, there will be no referendum on whether or not the Netherlands will stay in the European Union. Other party leaders and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, are against a so-called Nexit referendum.
The Tweede Kamer debated with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday night on the consequences the Brexit will have on the Netherlands. According to BNR, the Kamer wants to refocus on Europe. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold feels it important to look at what the EU was originally established for. "That's not a cumbersome, bureaucratic happening, but a Europe that responds to the problems that are there. CDA leader Sybrand Buma adds that "the great challenges now lie more in the area of safety, think terrorism and immigration, that we still have barely in hand."
The parties find it shameful that Britain is now delaying for months, while the remaining 27 EU states have to consider what they want to do with the EU now. PvdA leader Diederik Samsom and VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra emphasized that the Brexit should happen quickly but carefully and without hard feelings, according to NU.nl. The coalition parties agree that the Brexit is a "wake up call" for the EU. Zijlstra believes that the EU should learn a lesson from this and make sure it explains that it stands for more than just a common market and economic growth. He feels it is politicians' jobs to better explain the benefits of the EU.
Earlier on Monday Samsom told newspaper AD that he is strictly opposed to a Nexit referendum. "We've just come out of the economic crisis, we struggled for five years to come back up. It would be bad to throw ourselves back into uncertainty with still falling investments", Samsom said. "Such a question might play in the elections, but not in a referendum."
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold also voiced his opposition in a interview with newspaper Trouw. "We are for a corrective referendum, as part of a legislative process. What is required here is something else entirely. I will not cooperate", he said, adding that a Nexit referendum is "nonsensical." "A leave' has totally unclear and unpredictable consequences. What are you voting about then?"
According to Pechtold, the EU ensures peace, security and prosperity in Europe. "This has been a process of 70 years of democratic decision-making between the countries, in small steps. We are not going to throw that away in a referendum by asking a simple question wit a yes or no. To even get a letter in the constitution modified you need a two-thirds majority, in both Kamers. I'm not going to expose the country to that."
Pechtold finally called a Nexit referendum a "Wilders referendum in which things only get destroyed without alternative. That is also now happening with the British."