Courtesy of the Campaign

03 December 2015

In a few short weeks, the Prime Minister will be asking his friends in the EU for a written confirmation of the status quo, which he will present to the British public as a “renegotiation “package – but has the Union been dealt its first major blow from a Member State?

The Danes (whom are generally among the most pro-EU people in Europe) rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and subsequently were given a handful of opt-outs in order to make sure the Treaty passed. Last night’s referendum was, on paper at least, to turn one of those opt-outs regarding justice and home affairs into an opt-in.

The Europhiles who wanted people to vote for the opt-ins, used images of victims of child sex abuse and human trafficking all across the media to try and scare people into voting for more EU. They also claimed that if the Danes voted no, they wouldn’t be able to co-operate with Europol, thus putting their country at risk. Their overall argument was that Denmark needed to give up some of its rights in order to co-operate with the EU. Sound familiar?

Thankfully – common sense prevailed. The no side rightly pointed out that you don’t have to be an EU member in order to co-operate with EU initiatives like Europol, just like Norway and Switzerland do.  The No campaign rightly argued that a Yes vote would lead to an even greater loss of sovereignty, giving parliament the power to pass EU laws by a simple majority in parliament, instead of a supermajority, i.e. a five-sixths majority, or through a referendum. They argued this was disastrous for Danish democracy.

The referendum opened up wider debates about border security, uncontrolled migration and the ability of the European Union to govern itself. The Danes are rightly against allowing Brussels to decide their migration and asylum policy, especially as they border Germany and Sweden, the two countries receiving the most asylum seekers.

The Eurosceptic Danish People’s Party (DPP) along with the socialist Red-Green Alliance campaigned with the slogan “More EU? No thanks!” which seems to have paid off. They won the referendum with 53.1% of the vote. The no vote is further evidence of the ever-widening gap between the EU and the people of Europe.

Interestingly, the last poll conducted before the referendum showed the majority of young people intended to vote no. The younger, more global minded Danes rightly understood that there may be two speeds in the European Union, but the destination is still the same, one federalised superstate.