GREENLAND’s withdrawal from the EU is remarkably similar to the UK’s Brexit saga, unearthed reports reveal.
The Conservative Party secured an incredible victory in Thursday’s general election, capturing 364 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. It was one of the biggest shifts in British political allegiances for decades and it marked a personal triumph for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is now the most successful Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher. The win means Britain will almost certainly leave the EU in January 2020 as, just like the Prime Minister said, “no one can now refute” his “stonking mandate” to deliver Brexit.
The era of uncertainty has therefore ended as the general election result broke the Brexit deadlock created by Theresa May’s disastrous 2017 campaign.
As MPs prepare to vote on the withdrawal agreement on Friday, unearthed reports reveal how remarkably similar Greenland’s exit from the EEC – the precursor to the EU – is to the UK’s Brexit saga.
Greenland became the first and only country to leave the bloc after a referendum was held in 1982.
As part of the Danish Kingdom, Greenland joined the bloc in 1973 but, not long after its entry, the country started fighting for independence.
Soon after the 2016 Brexit referendum, former Greenland Prime Minister Lars-Emil Johansen, recalled that quitting the forerunner to today’s EU in 1985 had provoked a political storm in his country and that the process took three lengthy years.
However, the storm was soon followed by economic growth once Greenland was free of Brussels.
Mr Johansen said: “It was a huge deal for domestic politics in Greenland.
“The doomsday prophets said that Greenland could never get an exit deal that would be as beneficial as the conditions under EEC membership.
“We had to do a lot of waiting.”
The politician added that a massive political row erupted after two years of exit negotiations, as his government’s deal came under attack “by a broad part of the population who thought we sold ourselves too cheaply on our fishing rights”.
As a result, Greenland’s government was toppled as a no-confidence vote triggered an election in 1984.
However, similarly to Mr Johnson’s triumph, Mr Johansen’s Siumut party was re-elected with a big majority and the island successfully left the EU in 1985.
Mr Johansen noted that it was only after Greenland had left the bloc that the economy expanded and opponents were proved wrong.
Since then, Greenland’s leaders have consistently said that they are satisfied with the decision to leave.
In a 2013 interview with the BBC, former Prime Minister of Greenland Kuupik Kleist said life outside the EU was good and that, after a successful negotiation with the bloc, the country was left significantly better off.
He claimed Greenland had free access to the European markets for his exports but, when asked about other exported goods, he answered with a laugh.
He said: “We don’t export anything else but the fish.
“”We have regular meetings with the [European] Parliament, and the European Union is one of our international partners – an important partner, and important for trade.
“But at the moment, there’s no serious consideration for rejoining the European Union.”