European Voices: Czech Republic‎

There’s a lot of sympathy from Czexiters

Were the UK to leave, it would trigger changes here too.

17th Forum 2000 staff, August 2013
Jan HornátAssistant Professor

Prague – The Czechs have arguably established themselves as the biggest Eurosceptics among the 2004 enlargement countries, partly due to the vocal former president Vaclav Klaus and his staunch reluctance to sign the Lisbon Treaty. We can thus find a number of sympathizers of London’s flirtations with exiting the Union. Some even see a possible Brexit as opening the doors to a future Czexit or at least as a way to increase Prague’s bargaining power vis-a-vis Brussels.

Recently, a group of prominent Czechs, including our ambassador to London Michael Zantovsky and supermodel Eva Herzigova, have signed a letter addressed to Sir Tom Stoppard, urging the UK to stay in the EU and emphasizing the shared history of the Brits and Czechs. The letter also reiterated that with Brexit the EU would lose the all important British common sense and pragmatic approach to problem-solving.

Nonetheless, the Czech society seems to be quietly awaiting the outcome of the referendum, not really foreseeing the potential impacts UK’s exit could have for the Czech Republic. Were we to be speaking now about a possible exit of Germany, on which the Czech economy is essentially dependent, the public debate would certainly be much more vibrant, perhaps bordering on panic…

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