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Sweden Democrats call for referendum on Swedish EU membership after 2018 election

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Sweden Democrats call for referendum on Swedish EU membership after 2018 election
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Fre
15:49 CEST+02:00
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) have called for Sweden to hold a referendum on the country’s EU membership after the 2018 Swedish general election.

SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson told newspaper Dagens Industri that the EU is a "large web of corruption where no one has control over anything".

The Swedish nationalists want Sweden to follow the UK's example and leave the EU, and promise they will push for a referendum on the matter in the next mandate period.

READ ALSO: Swedish faith in the EU grows according to new poll

"We pay an enormous amount of money and get overwhelmingly little back. But the main reason is ideological: we should not be in an ideological union," Åkesson claimed.

Recent polls suggest the Sweden Democrats could be the second largest party in the autumn 2018 general election, but even if the vote plays out as such, they would still have a hard time pushing a referendum through parliament. None of the other biggest parties in Sweden support holding a vote on Swedish EU membership.

And Swedish support for EU membership actually appears to be growing following the Brexit vote, with a major poll earlier this year showing that 53 percent of Swedes are generally in favour of membership (up from 49 percent in 2016) while the proportion of people generally against it dropped to 18 percent (down from 23 percent) in the same time period.

In the same poll only 17 percent of Swedes said it would be a good idea to leave the EU, while 57 percent said it would be a bad idea.

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