A majority of people in the Netherlands want a referendum to be held on Dutch membership of the EU similar to the one taking place in Britain in June, according to a new poll by Maurice de Hond.
In his weekly survey of Dutch political opinion, De Hond found 53% support a referendum in the Netherlands, while 44% are opposed. If there were a vote, 44% would vote to stay in the EU and 43% against.
De Hond’s polls are carried out online and involve voters who signed up to take part.
The Netherlands is holding a referendum on the EU’s treaty with Ukraine on April 6. That is widely being seen as a test of public support for the European Union but will not be binding on the cabinet.
Dutch MPs are concerned that concessions made by the European ministers in an effort to keep Britain in the EU will have an impact on other EU countries’ demands.
Anne Mulder, an MP for the right-wing Liberal VVD, told the Telegraaf: ‘Cameron’s action has led to a lot of bad blood in eastern European countries and France. What will they do when it comes to making agreements to relocate refugees?’
Labour MP Marti Maij said she was concerned about the impact on solidarity within the EU, while Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma said the British government has been putting on a show about how tough it is. ‘We must not have this every year with 28 countries,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the latest De Hond poll shows another slight fall in support for the anti-EU and anti-immigration PVV, although the party remains by far the biggest in the polls.
If there were a general election tomorrow, De Hond calculates the party would win 40 seats in the 150-seat parliament, down from 42 two weeks ago. The ruling VVD would take 21 seats, an increase of one.