Danish oppositions support UK's EU renegotiations

Danish opposition shifts before election to back UK's EU reform push

Danish oppositions support UK's EU renegotiations

World Bulletin / News Desk

Denmark's main bloc of opposition parties, running neck-and-neck with the ruling centre-left coalition six days before an election, have said they would support Britain's effort to renegotiate its relationship with the European Union if they were elected.

The move, unveiled on Thursday, is a shift for the biggest opposition party, the Liberals, who had previously said they would try to form a common position on EU strategy with the ruling parties in a bid to block eurosceptic moves by the right-wing Danish People's Party (DF).

"If we get the responsibility of government in the election, Denmark will seek to ally itself with Cameron to amend EU rules," Liberals leader and candidate for the premiership Lars Lokke Rasmussen told the Danish broadcaster TV2 this week.

"We do not want the EU to become a social union, so that citizens from other EU countries who have only worked in Denmark for a short time get Danish child support and social security from day one," Rasmussen said.

But he added that it would be a "catastrophe" if Britain left the EU.

DF leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl has said the kind of changes that Cameron is seeking are similar to what DF wants.

"We're very keen to have reform for the EU and we would gladly have reform for all EU countries. But if that is not possible and only Britain gets a new deal then, without knowing exactly what that deal is, we think it would be in Denmark's interest to copy that," he told Reuters in an interview.

Among the changes Cameron is seeking are limiting welfare payments to EU migrants, cutting red tape emanating from Brussels, giving national parliaments power to block EU legislation, and limiting EU influence on policing and justice.

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said he believed the Liberal party had shifted its EU policy as a concession to DF.

"This clears the way for DF to become a government party if the opposition wins the election," he told.

The DF has said it wants a referendum on continued membership of the EU if Britain holds one, as Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to do by 2017, although ultimately it does not want either Britain or Denmark to leave the bloc.

DF has emerged from the political fringes to become the second largest opposition party. As such, it would be a natural partner with the Liberals if the four-party centre-right bloc wins, giving it cabinet seats for the first time.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Haziran 2015, 23:18