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Brexit vote met with celebrations from far-right groups across Europe

Right-wing German politician Beatrix von Storch says she 'cried for joy' at the news of the result

Katie Forster
Friday 24 June 2016 17:01 BST
And now France? That's the hope of Marine Le Pen
And now France? That's the hope of Marine Le Pen (Getty)

Leaders of far-right and outsider parties across Europe have been celebrating Britain’s decision to leave the EU, with some demanding their own votes on whether to leave the bloc.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front in France, said British people had given Europe and the world “a dazzling lesson in democracy”.

“I've been calling for a referendum of the same kind [in France] since 2013,” she said, speaking in front of a backdrop saying: “Brexit – and now France”

Ms Le Pen’s far-right party took around 29 per cent of the vote in the first round of last year’s regional elections.

Out of 33 million votes in Britain’s referendum on whether to continue its EU membership, 51.9 per cent went to the Leave campaign.

“That which no-one dared to dream about a few months back is now a reality which is clear to everyone: yes, it's possible to leave the EU,” said Ms Le Pen.

She added the European question would be “at the heart of the next French presidential elections” which are due to take place in April and May next year.

Leave voter didn't want Brexit

In Germany, Beatrix von Storch, a member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told national broadcasters she “cried for joy” at the news of the result.

Support for AfD, which takes an anti-Eurozone and anti-immigration stance, has recently surged to new levels amid concern over refugees entering the country.

Party leader Frauke Petry wrote on Twitter: “The time is ripe for a new Europe.”

However, a recent poll found that while the majority of AfD members wanted Germany to leave the EU, 79 per cent of all the Germans polled said they wanted to remain part of the Union.

Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders called for a “Nexit” vote as soon as possible, as “the Dutch population deserves a referendum as well”.

“The United Kingdom is leading the way to the future and liberation,” said Mr Wilders, leader of the populist Party for Freedom (PVV).

“The time is now for a new start, trusting in its own strength and sovereignty. Also in the Netherlands," he said.

“The Party for Freedom (PVV) demands therefore a referendum on Nexit, a Dutch EU exit. Dutch people should have the opportunity as soon as possible to decide on the Dutch membership of the European Union.

Italy's anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, which was founded by a popular comedian, is pushing for a referendum on whether to keep the euro following a boost in support at the polls.

Five-Star Movement politician Virginia Raggi recently won an election to become the first female mayor of Rome.

Denmark and Sweden have also showed interest in quitting the European Eunion, with one of the country's Democrat politicians, Paula Bieler, tweeting “Sweden is next”.

Meanwhile, French president Francois Hollande described the result as “painful” and added that the EU needed “profound change” to address its issues.

He said: “This was their choice and we must respect it.

“The decision from Britain requires Europe to become aware of shortcomings in the way it works as well as the loss of confidence in the project.

“A jolt is needed. The people are expecting the EU to reaffirm its values, values of liberty, tolerance and peace.

“I will do everything to secure profound change rather than decline.”

The French president said he would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday for urgent talks ahead of a scheduled European Council summit in Brussels where leaders will discuss the fallout from the vote.

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