A new poll about attitudes to the EU in Holland, undertaken for the Bruges Group, by Maurice de Hond shortly before the country’s General Election, shows the Dutch prefer alternatives to the EU rather than EU membership. Support for Nexit (i.e., the total of EFTA and FTA supporters) stood at 56% as opposed to 44% EU supporting continued EU membership. This compares to an IPSOS poll last year showing 64% preferred to remain in the EU. With the Netherlands going to the polls on 15th March, this poll could help pro-sovereignty parties. The poll gave respondents two choices for leaving the EU, the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) option and the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) option, which also included controlling immigration. The results show the Dutch are open to a working alternative, such as EFTA.
The full results were as follows:
39% = EU/Single Market
23% = EFTA/Single market (European Free Trade Association)
27% = FTA (Free Trade Association)
11% = Don’t Know
When Don’t Knows are excluded, this equates to:
56% = Nexit (EFTA+FTA)
44% = EU
The detailed results showed equally men and women supported Nexit options.
The national media on the continent is even more censored than the UK media, so the EFTA option may well be the easiest route to self-government and restoring democracy.
If the Dutch were to have a successful Nexit referendum, it would help our own Brexit negotiations if there was another country looking for a similar simple free trade agreement, with full immigration control. There is also the option of the other EFTA countries looking to renegotiate their terms and joining the UK and other European countries looking for self-government.
Interestingly, a similar poll for the UK, commissioned before last year’s referendum for the Bruges Group and undertaken by Opinium, showed 61% would support an EFTA+FTA option.
In summary, this poll shows that there is a real possibility the Netherlands may hold a Nexit referendum, with good chances of winning if the EFTA option is selected along with, maybe, a more phased approach to immigration control – e.g. new Eastern Europeans having a 1 year working working visa, with a points system for staying longer. Since European relations have been in flux for hundreds of years, new ideas for trade agreements that benefit the majority of people, including the EFTA option, are showing in this poll.
The Bruges Group press release can be found here, with results tables
The Daily Express has published the poll results:
There are a number of options for EFTA membership:
– Full membership
– Associate membership
There are also a number of ways EFTA countries can trade with the EU
– EFTA/Single Market (Norway, Iceland)
– EFTA/Single Market, with immigration control (Liechtenstein)
– EFTA/bilateral (Switzerland)
– EFTA/FTA (Free Trade Agreement) (e.g. South Korea)
– EFTA/WTO rules (World Trade Organisation) (similar to China, which exports €300bn to the EU a year)
Hugo van Randwyck has been suggesting the EFTA option as a stepping stone for full self-government, starting with a transition to EFTA/Single Market, and using the articles 112 and 113 for phasing restoring self-government from the Single Market, e.g. immigration control . With the a simple FTA as the aim. In addition, looking at the option of northern Europe becoming an EFTA zone, with new members, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria ,Ireland, joining Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. He has written for the Bruges Group and also CIB.