Danes hate the EU too but please stay, Danish daily tells Britain

Published 23.06.2016 15:42

Danish daily Berlingske on Thursday published an English-language editorial imploring Britain to "please stay" in the EU, amid fears the eurosceptic Scandinavian country could lose a key ally in Brussels.

"As a nation, we in Denmark understand your scepticism about the EU, perhaps better than any other country. Three times we voted no -- in 1992, 2000 and 2015 -- but never out," the right-wing daily wrote.

"Let us stay and fight for pragmatic, better and more sustainable European solutions," it said, adding that Britain's voice was needed in the EU to "fight for free trade and (for) breaking down regulation and bureaucracy."

A cartoon on the paper's front page showed a door marked with an EU flag slamming shut on a half naked man with a bowler hat and an umbrella, tearing off his Union Jack suit as it closed behind him.

An English translation of the editorial, headlined "Please Stay", was published on Berlingske's website.

Denmark has been a reluctant member of the EU since joining in 1973, rejecting the Maastricht Treaty in a 1992 referendum and only saying "yes" the following year after being granted opt-out clauses on the euro, defence, and justice and home affairs.

Danish voters also rejected joining the euro in 2000, and proposals to lift some of the country's exemptions on EU justice rules were turned down in a referendum in December last year.

Like his British counterpart David Cameron, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen wants to curb European migrants' access to child benefits, but with exports accounting for just over half of the country's economic output there are few politicians who back leaving the bloc completely.

The eurosceptic Danish People's Party, one of the government's main allies in parliament, wants Denmark to obtain further EU opt-outs in case of a Brexit, as it believes Britain would then obtain a "hybrid" agreement with the bloc rather than leave completely.

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