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Far-right leader wants Germany to perform its own Brexit

Far-right leader wants Germany to perform its own Brexit

by host

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will push for a referendum on Germany’s EU membership if it ever comes to power, said co-leader Alice Weidel.

The party wants to reform the EU and limit the European Commission’s power, but “if such a reform is not possible, if we cannot restore the sovereignty of the EU member states, then the citizens should decide, just like in the U.K.,” Weidel said in an interview with the Financial Times published Monday.

Praising the U.K. for its exit from the EU after a 2016 plebiscite, Weidel said she believes Germany “could have a referendum on ‘Dexit’ — a German exit from the EU.”

The AfD has long been openly anti-European, noting in its party program that “we believe that the EU cannot be reformed and see it as a failed project.”

Despite low levels of support for the EU among party backers, polls conducted in September 2023 suggest a majority of the AfD’s own voters would be unlikely to vote for a “Dexit,” with 52 percent supporting remaining in the EU.

The AfD is currently polling in second place nationally at 23 percent, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls, and is thriving despite a recent scandal that prompted the biggest anti-far-right protests the country has seen in decades. Hundreds of thousands hit the streets across Germany on Sunday, with some asking for a complete ban on the party.

Last week, a report exposed that some AfD members had joined a secret meeting with neo-Nazis and other extremists to discuss “remigration,” shorthand for the deportation of asylum seekers, migrants and even German citizens with migration backgrounds who have failed to integrate. Weidel fired a staffer who attended the meeting.

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