Copenhagen – Here in Denmark, people feel like we need to be part of the EU. But still we are very sceptical because what people see in general is a lot of restrictions and laws that are coming from the EU. They don’t see the benefits from them, other than the apparent need to be part of the group.
We feel strongly connected to the UK, especially since we got into the EU. We don’t have the Euro for example, so we stand with the UK on that. Geographically, historically, we lean to the UK as a big brother. Even mentally we feel we are also similar.
The governing party here, the social democrats, is very much pro-EU. The People’s Party, which is the supporting party in the coalition government, is not a supporter of the EU and if it came to a referendum they would push to separate ourselves more from it. They could mobilise a lot of support, especially in the case of Brexit.
Brexit itself is not so much a concern here, but rather a debate in which people say “we want to be part of the EU, but there is a life out of it” despite the politicians here and in the EU telling us that there is no life outside.
A lot of people I think say “If the UK can, then we can”. As a nation we stand our ground, we don’t like being bullied by big nations. And if the UK would break loose… it would push Denmark in the same direction.
Clearly there is this campaign going on, which even Obama took part in during his visit, stating that the UK is doomed out of the EU… but to be honest, they’d do fine. If the UK leaves, there’ll be a need for a velvet divorce. There’ll need to be a deal quickly because the EU needs the UK as much as the UK needs the EU. London is the capital of the world, a diverse financial centre. The UK has stood alone in many situations but they always manage it.