Finland’s parliament is due to hold a special meeting on July 1 to discuss the outcome of the historic referendum in the United Kingdom on leaving the European Union, the parliamentary press service said on Monday.
The parliament said “the prime minister [Juha Sipila] will deliver a speech on the British vote and a discussion will be held.” This will be an extraordinary meeting as the parliament, the Eduskunta, went on summer holidays on June 24.
Sipila said earlier that Finland does not consider it is necessary to hold a referendum on the membership in the EU similar to the vote in Great Britain. “No, it is not [topical],” he said.
The EU should “take the criticism seriously” following the UK referendum, he said. “The increase in integration is not an answer to that. We need improvement in many other areas,” he stressed.
At the referendum in the United Kingdom on June 23 some 51.9% of Britons voted in favor of leaving the EU and another 48.1% opted for remaining in the 28-member bloc. Later a number of European leaders called on London to immediately launch talks on withdrawing from the EU.
The Yle TV company reported Saturday that Finland had started collecting signatures for a petition demanding to hold a referendum on leaving the EU. A similar initiative was launched in Finland in 2013. Some 30,000 people signed the petition, with at least 50,000 signatures needed for a document to be considered by the parliament.