No split in the Icelandic Independence Party or change in policy towards the EU

Some foreign media including the Financial Times have been suggesting that there is now a split in the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) towards EU membership since its vice chairman and Minister of Education, Þorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir, has said membership needed to be debated rather within weeks than months.

The fact is, however, that this is nothing new. Gunnarsdottir has aired these views before, like last spring, but did not get a very warm hug from the people in the party for doing that. After all the policy of the Independence Party is very clear in its opposition to EU membership. Gunnarsdottir is as a result as good as isolated in the party leadership with her views.

There are simply no signs of a split in the Independence Party over the EU or that its policy on the issue will be changed. The party is on the contrary as before firm in its opposition to EU membership.