EU patent court referendum to proceed

The government declined to grant Dansk Folkeparti concessions in exchange for support of the EU patent court

Eurosceptic party Dansk Folkeparti (DF) declared this morning that Denmark would be holding a referendum to decide its membership in the EU patent court.

DF is against joining the court but said it would support it if the government tackled so-called 'welfare tourism' or held a referendum on joining the EU banking union.

But the government ignored DF’s Sunday deadline to open negotiations.

PM ignores deadline
“We have not heard from Helle Thorning-Schmidt,” MP Pia Adelsteen told Berlingske Nyhedsbureau. “That means we are having a referendum.”

The EU patent court would result in Denmark losing sovereignty to the EU and therefore would need a five sixths ‘super majority’ in parliament to avoid a referendum.

READ MORE: Anti-EU parties call for referendums to brake integration

But with both DF and the far-left Enhedslisten against joining the court, the government can’t secure the necessary super majority.

Referendum in May
Last week, Thorning-Schmidt announced that if the referendum goes ahead, it will be held next May simultaneously with the European parliamentary elections.

READ MORE: Deal with eurosceptics could stave off EU patent referendum

Adelsteen told Berlingske Nyhedsbureau that DF that wanted to open the negotiations because the party prioritised finding ways to minimise welfare spending on non-Danes over joining the patent court.

But Thorning-Schmidt told DR Nyheder that setting final demands in exchange for negotiations was not politically productive.