The impossible has happened. We assess the impact on Britain’s closest neighbours.
Confounding all expectations, Britain made history on the morning of June 24 when it voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union, the political and economic entity in which Britain has been closely entwined. Confounding pollsters England overwhelmingly voted to leave the European, while Scotland opted to remain inside the EU. The exception to the UK was London, where several inner city boroughs recorded votes for remain of over 70%. While the full impact of the decision will not be yet made clear, there are some countries that will be closely considering their own future.
One of the most eurosceptic nations, the current Danish government were firm supporters of David Cameron’s efforts to renegotiate the UK’s position with the European Union. The Danish People’s Party are pushing for a referendum on its membership of the EU and pressure over the migration crisis as well as the lingering shocks from last year’s terrorist attacks mean that a Brexit is likely to galvanise anti-EU forces in Denmark. One to watch.
Sweden is known as one of the most tolerant societies in the world, however it has recently had to tighten up its rules on immigration as a result of its struggle to deal with the large number of asylum seekers and immigrants that have come to the Nordic nation. The far right Sweden Democrats are strong performers in recent polls and an EU referendum is unlikely but will no doubt come as a shock to one of our closest partners.
Finland’s economy has struggled as a result of a decline in exports. Anti EU feeling is running high and its membership of the single currency has not helped matters. Finland is likely to see pressure as a result of the decision on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Iceland and Norway
Two of the Nordic five are not members of the EU, and Brexiters had long pointed to Norway as an example of how the UK can leave the European Union while retaining some of the advantages of access to the single market. Norway’s model is likely to see great scrutiny in the coming weeks.