‘It was worth it’ Greenland’s ‘simple’ exit from Europe ‘proved doomsday prophets wrong’

Thursday, August 11, 2016
By Paul Martin

BREXIT could provide a boost to Britain’s economy that would shatter the warnings of “doomsday prophets”, a veteran of negotiations to cut ties with Brussels has suggested.

Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Lars-Emil Johansen, who helped lead Greenland out of the European Economic Community in 1985, has intervened in the debate about the UK’s European future to paint a positive vision of life outside the European bloc.

He recalled that quitting the EEC – the forerunner to today’s EU – had provoked a political storm but was followed by economic growth once Greenland was free of Brussels.

Mr Johansen, a former prime minister of Greenland and current chairman of its parliament, recalled the negotiations in an interview with the financial news agency Bloomberg earlier this week.

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 EC membership.”

But Greenland’s economy then expanded in the years following the exit, “proving doomsday prophets wrong,” Mr Johansen said.

Greenland is a self-ruling autonomous island that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It joined the EEC as part of Denmark in 1973 but voted to quit the bloc in a referendum in 1982.

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