Issue February-13
WessexTimes Investigative and Satirical Journalism  

Is dexit a realistic chance in Germany

If the EU does not change in line with the AfD's ideas, says the party leader, a referendum like the one in the UK is an option.

Her statements have been sharply criticised.

AfD leader Alice Weidel has expressed sympathy for a referendum on Germany's exit from the European Union. She told the Financial Times that a so-called dexit referendum was an option if the EU did not change in line with her party's ideas. According to Weidel, a government led by the AfD would attempt to reform the European Union and give the member states more sovereignty again. If this does not bring the desired result, she believes there should also be a referendum in Germany on remaining in the EU, as there was in the UK in 2016. "It is a model for Germany to be able to make a sovereign decision in this way," she said in the interview.

With her latest statements, Weidel is deviating from previous positions.

Back in the summer, when the AfD held its party conference in Magdeburg, the party appeared to row back on drastic demands in European policy under Weidel's leadership.

The party did not want to reaffirm its demand for a dexit.

The delegates removed a passage from the programme stating that the AfD is striving for an orderly dissolution of the EU. Weidel herself told the Phoenix broadcaster at the time that she was striving for a "Europe of interests and economic community".

The "Dexit" that has now been brought into play is modelled on "Brexit", the UK's withdrawal from the EU, which was decided in 2016 and completed in 2020. At that time, 52 per cent of Britons who took part in the referendum voted in favour of leaving, while 48 per cent voted to remain in the EU. The exit was and is accompanied by many problems for the country: immediately after the decision in favour of Brexit, the British pound plummeted and the exit negotiations with the EU dragged on for years. Many issues remained unresolved for a long time, such as the situation on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Leaving the EU also led to a shortage of many medicines.

A referendum would not be possible in Germany without further ado

Weidel's initiative has been sharply criticised. SPD European politician Katarina Barley told the German Press Agency: "The AfD's plan is a dwarfing of Germany." Furthermore, such a step would play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Putin wants nothing more than an EU that breaks up," said Barley, whom the SPD intends to elect as its lead candidate for the European elections on 9 June next Sunday.

Katja Mast, Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, said: "A dexit is a stupid idea, but the AfD has many of them."

The AfD is damaging Germany. The party is "the biggest threat to the location and jobs in Germany". However, a referendum on Germany leaving the EU similar to the one in the UK would not be possible without further ado.

Referendums at federal level are not provided for in the Basic Law - except for the reorganisation of federal states.

-pw- London

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