23 Dec, 2019 @ 14:33
1 min read

SPEXIT: Twitter users urge far-right Vox to call for Spain style Brexit – but how popular is the idea?

Almost 70% of Spaniards have a favourable view of the EU
Vox leader Santiago Abascal

SPEXIT has been trending on Twitter after the European Court of Justice ruled a jailed Catalan separatist leader should have parliamentary immunity.

Far-right supporters are now calling on the Vox party to back a Brexit-style exit after judges in Luxembourg ruled Oriol Junqueras, who was sentenced to 13 years for sedition, should be freed.

It meant the face of the Catalan independence movement, Carles Puigdemont, and Antoni Comin, who are living in ‘exile’ in Belgium, officially became MEPs.

“Because of EU courts, terrorists and rapists (who have raped women again) were released. Now they are slapping us in the face by making Puigdemont an MEP,” said Vox party leader Santiago Abascal.

“Spain (as other countries do) should not abide by any judgement of those who attack our sovereignty and security.

“Vox is not going to allow any more humiliations.”

Almost 70% of Spaniards have a favourable view of the EU

But while the party campaigned on a pledge to return powers from Brussels to national governments, it has never officially backed a Spanish exit from the bloc.

And while it enjoyed a historic result for a far right party at last month’s general election, it would have an uphill battle if it decided to try and take Spain out of the European Union.

It comes after the population was revealed to be one of the most pro-EU in the entire bloc.

A poll by the Pew Research Centre last year found that 67% of Spaniards had a favourable view of the EU – the second-highest rating after Poland.

Meanwhile 52% had a favourable view of the European Parliament and 51% a favourable view of the European Commission – both increasing rapidly from around 30% in 2014.

The same research showed 71% of Spaniards believe the EU promotes peace, while 68% believe it promotes democratic values and 63% think it promotes economic prosperity.

The numbers suggest the appetite for a Spanish exit is a long way off, however the data also suggests there is a need for reform, with 60% of Spaniards believing the EU ‘does not understand the needs of its citizens’.

Meanwhile, some 50% believe it is ‘intrusive’ while 55% believe it is ‘inefficient’.

Almost 10,000 people were interviewed for the survey from 10 European countries including France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Hungary and UK.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU next month.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He was news editor for all print editions of the Olive Press from 2016 to 2019 taking on the role of Digital Editor between January 2020 and February 2021.

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