Cameron: I hope Dutch rejection of Ukraine deal will not affect EU referendum

21:10, 07 April 2016
Politics
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David Cameron has said he hopes the rejection by Dutch voters of a trade deal between Brussels and Ukraine will not affect the outcome of Britain's referendum on EU membership, according to Herald Scotland.

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Strong opposition to an agreement has been seen as a reflection of wider anti-EU sentiment in the Netherlands and was seized on by Brexit campaigners as a signal to wavering Britons that it is "moderate and normal" to oppose Brussels, reads the report.

Far-right anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders said the result could help secure a vote for Britain to leave the EU in the referendum on June 23, suggesting it could be "the start of the end of the European Union as we know it."

But, talking to students during a visit to Exeter, David Cameron insisted the Dutch poll was on a "very different" issue.

Mr Cameron said: "I hope it won't affect our results of our referendum because it is a very different issue."

Read alsoUPDATE: Dutch referendum says No with 61.1%, turnout 32.2%: preliminary count overEuropean Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker previously warned that a "No" vote "would open the door to a great continental crisis".

Mr Cameron spoke to close ally Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, in a phone call last night.

He told students: "I think it's very important the Dutch government stops and thinks and looks at that referendum and doesn't try to dismiss it and I know they won't do that."

The Prime Minister said Ukraine wants to look towards Europe and we "shouldn't be pushing them away" but he urged the EU to "listen carefully" to what the Dutch people had said.

He added: "I personally think it's a good idea for Europe and Ukraine to have a relationship. I don't think that means Ukraine is going to join the European Union, I don't think it means we are going to have free movement of people between Ukraine and the United Kingdom."

Read alsoGroysman says Dutch referendum "very disturbing" signal to UkraineLeave.EU spokesman Brian Monteith said: "This humiliating rejection of the Ukraine agreement demonstrates that people don't have to support the EU and its expansionist agenda to feel European.

"Nobody could accuse the Dutch of not being good Europeans but they have no willingness to open their borders to more migrants and pick up the tab for Ukraine's problems, just like most UK voters.

"This result gives the British people the signal that it is moderate and normal to reject the EU and stand up for what's in our country's best interests. The sun is now setting on the European Union."

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