Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, hopes to get a new proposal to end accession talks with the European Union off the ground in the early new year, reports Vísir.
As reported, the ruling coalition attempted to submit a bill ending EU accession talks early last year. The move sparked protests in the thousands, as well as a petition calling upon the coalition to keep their campaign promise of submitting the EU question to national referendum. Ultimately, it also lead to a rise in support for EU accession.
The bill, dead in the water, was never submitted though the PM would now like to make another go of it.
“Participating in EU talks isn’t really valid anymore,” said Sigmundur Davíð in a radio interview with Bylgjan yesterday morning. “Both due to changes in the European Union and because it’s not in line with the policies of the ruling government to accept everything that the last government was willing to accept. Because of that, we’re back at square one.”
Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson has lauded the decision, telling Vísir he wanted closure on this issue as soon as possible. When asked whether the overwhelming protests and petition last year had an impact on the previous attempt to end EU talks, the minister answered that it had not swayed his position on the issue.
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