The overall response in Austria to the result of the UK’s referendum has been to call for closer cooperation and to put the EU on the path to reform. EurActiv Germany reports.
In a statement, the country’s new chancellor, Christian Kern, made it clear that Austria will not be drawn into the wake of anti-EU sentiment that Brexit has stirred up. Kern said that he is not expecting any sort of domino effect or a movement to hold a similar referendum.
However, the alpine republic’s leader said that the EU has been weakened as a result of the UK’s departure and that the continent faces diminished standing at a global level.
For Austria itself, Brexit is unlikely to hit too hard, as only 5% of trade is with the UK. Kern made it clear in his statement what must be done to avoid going down a similar path, pointing out that it is no wonder the population voted as it did given the opposition to Brussels that has been going on for over a decade.
For Austria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sebastian Kurz, said that there is no alternative to a united Europe and as a result the EU will have to inevitably borach the subject of reform.
As expected, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) said: “We congratulate the British for regaining their sovereignty. The result of the referendum has paved the way for democracy and against political centralism, but also against the continuing migration madness.” The FPÖ has stated its desire for a referendum in the same vein, but it currently looks unlikely to happen.