Iceland has mixed feelings about EU Membership

iceland euPolitical parties within Iceland are either disagreeing or in support of the possible European Union membership proposal, a decision made by the Icelandic Parliament on 10 July last week. Parties within themselves are also finding mixed opinions about whether or not to join the EU.

“I want to point out that the Independence Party of Iceland is called the Independence Party of Iceland,” Member of Parliament Petur Blondal said today during a Parliament meeting, “As for our vote for European Union membership, I vote yes to be Iceland, and no to be part of the European Union”.

Herbert Sveinbjornsson, chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Party (Borgarahreyfingin) says that it is clear as daylight that if 3 out of 4 Members of Parliament from the Citizen’s Movement reject the vote to join the European Union then they’re betraying the voters. The Citizen’s Movement Party during the elections stated that if EU membership would be discussed and applied for, then no decision or vote should be made before negotiations. Only after the negotiations and when the nation can see the benefits and losses of EU membership, then the nation’s citizens and people should vote on the issue, and not the parliament.  “If they proceed with this vote, then in my eyes, they are definitely going back on their word,” Herbert says.

It was also pointed out that agriculture in Iceland will not be insured in the European Union. “No where does it state in the Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs’ committee report about the government’s concurrent resolution about sending in an application for EU membership that there would be set forth clear demands about a conclusion of protecting the agriculture,” which was stated by the Farmer’s Association of Iceland. It is also reported that the European Union has restrictions on certain crops which could affect Iceland’s agriculture. For example, Icelandic cucumbers can sometimes be found on a curve, but EU regulations state that cucumbers should be straight. There are also some restrictions on other crops. This ban however has been reported by BBC to be lifted. (Click here for article)

The Icelandic Parliament is expected to continue discussions and votes about the European Union matter today. Mixed opinions, feelings, and expressions about EU membership exists everywhere not just inside the parliament’s walls, but also in the entire nation.

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