Nationalist political party Forum voor Democratie has removed references to a Nexit – a Dutch withdrawal from the EU – from its website because of the ‘panic’ which has been created around Brexit.
Instead, the website now states the party backs an end to EU expansion and supports referendums on the euro and the open border policy.
Party leader Thierry Baudet told television talk show Jinek on Wednesday evening that he still wants the Netherlands to leave the EU but that the website has been changed in the face of hysteria about what is happening in Britain.
‘We are for a Nexit, that is the party’s standpoint because… we think the EU is forcing countries to join a united states of Europe,’ he said. ‘But you have to take into account the panic about Brexit, which has been mainly created by the media.
‘You have to move with the times and if people are in a panic about it, I am quite happy to say we are not going to leave the EU tomorrow. We will do it in phases,’ Baudet said.
Baudet said the two Forum MPs did not support a motion in the Dutch parliament last month, put forward by the anti-immigration PVV and calling for an immediate Brexit, as ‘a signal to people that you don’t have to worry about us’.
According to the most recent poll about Dutch attitudes to the EU, carried out among just over 1,000 voters in September last year, 55% of the Dutch back membership of the EU and 21% want to leave.
Forum is taking part in the May 23 European elections. The campaign is being led by columnist Derk-Jan Eppink who said he backs Dutch withdrawal from the EU, but that there should first be a referendum.
Forum emerged as the big winner in the provincial elections last month and is predicted to do well in the European vote but will face strong competition for the more vociferously anti-EU PVV.
The party has already agreed to join the European reform group ECR in the European parliament.