Swedish MEP says his country is ready to follow Britain and quit the EU

SWEDEN is ready to follow Britain’s example and quit the European Union by the end of this decade amid widespread dissatisfaction about the direction the project is heading in, a leading eurosceptic MEP has told express.co.uk.

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Peter Lundgren, from the right-wing Sweden Democrats, said anti-EU forces were growing in Stockholm and predicted there will be a Brexit-style referendum on the country’s place in the bloc within a few years.

His party, which is currently leading in the opinion polls, plans to renegotiate Sweden’s membership terms before putting them to a public vote if it wins power in next year’s general election.

And he revealed that many voters in the Scandinavian country, which has resisted calls to join the euro, are alarmed by the direction the EU is heading in and now want to quit.

A YouGov opinion poll carried out in January showed that 39 per cent of Swedes are currently in favour of leaving the bloc – around the same number of Britons who backed Brexit before David Cameron called our referendum.

Mr Lundgren told express.co.uk: “My party, the Sweden Democrats, we are growing all the time. Right now we are the biggest party in Sweden, we’re up at 27 per cent and we’re increasing all the time.“And that is pretty much due to the fact that the Swedish politicians have been quite naive for a very long time.

“Sticking their head into the sand is not really a good solution and now we can see the Swedish people slowly awakening, actually, and seeing that we cannot continue in this direction we are going right now. »

He added: “That’s why I believe that we will be the biggest party in the next year’s election in Sweden and we will also push the demand for having a renegotiation of the trade agreements with the European Union, for the membership.“And we will also put it up to a referendum where people will have their say and then I’m hopeful that we also can follow Britain’s example.”

The next Swedish general election, which is due to be held on or before September 9 next year, will be another crucial test for a European Union which is frantically battling the rise of populist forces.

The most recent poll, published out by YouGov on March 20, showed that the Sweden Democrats are projected to be the biggest party on 24 per cent, a lead of two per cent over the socialists.

Mr Lundgren’s remark that the party was set to win 27 per cent of the vote was taken from a Sentio poll, released on February 20, which gave the eurosceptics an even bigger winning margin of four per cent.

The country’s parliament is elected through a proportional representation system meaning that currently the Sweden Democrats are on course to win around 83 of its 349 seats, putting them in prime position to form a governing coalition.

The party is currently the third largest in the Riksdag, having won 49 seats with 12.9 per cent of the vote during the last election in 2014.

Nigel Farage