The MP wants EU supporters to act to bring Britain as close to the union as possible, as discussion of tactics over Brexit negotiations pick up pace, reports newspaper Politiken.
Østergaard told the newspaper that it would be disadvantageous to allow Europe’s right wing parties to have the closest relationship with the UK in the wake of the Brexit referendum decision to leave the EU.
“I want to get us out of the corner we’re currently in, where we, in fear of Brexit being the first in a domino effect, end up putting obstacles in the way of a good coexistence. We are going to end with an amicable solution no matter what, and I could not not live with allowing Europe’s biggest EU sceptics to be the ones arguing for a good arrangement with the British,” said Østergaard.
Guy Verhofstadt, the EU Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, has already suggested that UK citizens should retain their right to live and vote within the EU.
Østergaard has called for the Danish government to support the notion of an EU citizenship to be offered to Brits, should mutual free movement between the UK and the EU not be preserved.
But his proposal has already met with scepticism in the governing Liberal (Venstre) Party.
“It looks like playing a trump card to say that Brits can live and work in the Europe on the same conditions as before without us being given the same rights in Britain. Tactically speaking, that doesn’t seem so smart. On the other hand, it is in all of our interests to stay as close to the British as possible,” the party’s EU spokesperson Jan E. Jørgensen told Politiken.
“Although I sound like Donald Trump, from a Danish viewpoint it must be ‘Denmark first, Europe second and Great Britain third’,” Jørgensen continued.
The British Parliament passed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit bill on Monday, clearing the way for the UK to trigger EU treaty clause Article 50 by the end of March, beginning the formal process of withdrawing from the EU.