BREAKING: Dutch Vote NO On EU-Ukraine Association Treaty

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Voters in The Netherlands went to the polls today to vote in a non-binding referendum on the association treaty between the EU and Ukraine. With all of the votes counted the 'No' vote won, with 61,1% of the vote. The 'Yes' camp got 38,1% of the vote. Turnout stood at 32,2%, more than the 30% needed to make the referendum valid.

The referendum was forced by citizen groups using the recently passed referendum law that says any law has been approved by parliament but is not in force yet can be subjected to a referendum if enough citizens request it. In an initial stage 10,000 requests had to be collected, in a second stage 300,000 signatures. Six months ago we were the first English language news website to report these barriers were overcome.

The EU-Ukraine association treaty was the first law a referendum could be requested on under the new rules. EU-critical website launched a campaign to have a referendum in partnership with some citizen organisations, under the name The referendum is widely seen as a rebuke to the Dutch government and the EU, which are seen by many to suffer from a lack of democratic accountability. The Netherlands are currently holding the rotating EU presidency, so a No vote on their watch is seen by many as a serious blow to the prestige of the current government. According to polls in the Netherlands the current cabinet no longer has the support of a majority of voters.

Earlier on the Dutch government had promised to take the results of the referendum seriously even though it is officially non binding. If the Dutch government doesn't ratify the treaty EU-Ukrainian relations will head into unknown territory since parts of it are already in effect.

A victory for the No camp will also give a boost to the 'Brexit' camp in the United Kingdom, where a referendum on leaving the European Union is slated to be held on the 23rd of June.


  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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