Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, recently visited Copenhagen as part of an All Parliamentary Group, where he visited Foleting, the Danish Parliament.
The schedule for the trip, lasting just one day, was packed. Phil visited the residence of the British Ambassador Vivien Life, and the Danish Parliament where he met the 1st Deputy Speaker Helle Thoring-Schmidt, and MP’s from a range of Denmark’s political parties.
Whilst in Copenhagen there were many things to be discussed not least the EU, with the UK’s impending referendum on its membership a topic which is difficult to escape.
In a meeting with the British Ambassador, Mr Wilson discussed the Danish approach to the EU. According to Ms Life, the Danes would like a changed EU but are not willing to give up membership if they these changes are not introduced.
This was a sentiment echoed by two Danish MP’s who Mr Wilson also met with. The MP’s from a soft right party in Denmark, also want changes to the EU in certain areas. They would like to see changes concerning benefits and the introduction of provisions to ensure non-Eurozone countries were protected, reflecting the fact that more than one currency exists in the EU. Like the Ambassador indicated however, if these changes weren’t introduced they would not advocate leaving the EU.
In Denmark the majority of mainstream parties would agree, they want to see the EU reformed, but they also want to remain a member of the EU.
Commenting, Phil Wilson said “It is clear where Denmark stands on the issue of the EU. They want to stay, but they also want change. And rightly so. The world is changing, and the EU needs to change with it.’
“The MP’s I met in Copenhagen understand the positive role the EU plays in terms of our countries’ economies and people. I will not deny that the EU needs to continue to change, but for me the UK should take a leading role in steering the direction of this change.”