Government Parties Vote for Withdrawing from EU Talks

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Government Parties Vote for Withdrawing from EU Talks

By Páll Stefánsson
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Photo: Wikipedia.

The majority at the Independence Party parliamentary group meeting today voted in favor of stopping European Union membership talks.

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s Progressive Party also voted in favor of withdrawing from the talks.

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, also from the Progressive Party, ruv.is that he will in the coming days consider what steps to take next. 

Before the Independence Party meeting, Sjálfstæðir Evrópumenn (a group of pro-EU Independence Party members) sent the parliamentary group a statement from their meeting earlier today where they ask the party to wait and not stop EU talks until the nation has had the chance to vote on the matter in a national referendum, as the party’s chairman, Bjarni Benediktsson, promised two days before last year’s general election.

According to the latest poll, more than half of Icelanders want to continue the talks with the European Union.

Former vice-chair of the Independence Party and former Minister of Education and Culture Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir tweeted after the Independence Party meeting that although the Independence Party governs along with the Progressive Party, the party does not have to be exactly the same as the Progressive Party.

The coalition parties will put forward a parliamentary resolution next week, ruv.is reports.

EU talks were put on hold indefinitely after the current government took power last year.

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