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Growing calls for EU exit amongst Spaniards and Poles amid rising tensions

The future of the EU has rarely been more uncertain after a turbulent week of unrest in both Poland and Spain.

Poland’s Supreme Court warned the country last week that judicial reforms proposed by its government were incompatible with EU law and would likely force a withdrawal from the EU if Poland persisted with the changes.

Separately, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that a Catalan separatist MEP enjoyed parliamentary immunity and could continue in his role despite refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Spanish constitution. The news sparked outrage in much of Spain as voters flock to the eurosceptic Vox Party.

Vox denounced the ECJ decision as a humiliation for Spain, with “Spaxit” becoming a trending topic on Twitter. Vox president Santiago Abascal claimed “Spain should not have to comply” with the ECJ ruling.

Catalan MEP Oriol Junqueras was one of nine arrested and imprisoned for their role in holding an illegal independence referendum. Mr. Junqueras is serving a thirteen year sentence for sedition, a decision the Luxembourg judges said should be overturned.

Whilst Vox, Spain’s third largest party, is being encouraged by its base to push for an exit referendum, Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice has remained silent after Supreme Court judges warned them of their apparent collision course with Brussels.

“Contradictions between Polish and EU law…. will in all likelihood lead to an intervention by EU institutions regarding an infringement of EU treaties, and in the longer run [will lead to] the need to leave the European Union”, according to the court.

Whilst many jurists in Poland claim the judicial reforms are an attempt to “gag” and “censor” their criticisms of the government, senior ministers have said that the new laws are needed to tackle corruption within the judiciary.

Former EU council president Donald Tusk recently lamented his native country’s trajectory towards apparent departure.

“We are leaving the EU step by step. It’s not an exaggeration.”

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