Dutch PM says Geert Wilders' Nexit would cause chaos like Brexit

Senior Sky Correspondent Michelle Clifford and News Reporter Adam Arnold

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has claimed there is "chaos" in the UK because of Brexit as he was accused of "scaremongering" by far-right leader Geert Wilders.

The pair clashed in a TV debate ahead of Wednesday's elections where Mr Wilders' anti-Islam, anti-immigrant PVV party could be in the top two or three in terms of share of the vote.

But given the fractured nature of Dutch politics he is unlikely to have any chance at power.

A coalition is inevitable given there are 28 parties to choose from and few political leaders want to sit at the table with a man who wants to close mosques and ban the Koran.

:: Dutch election: How do you choose between 28 parties?

The PVV (Party for Freedom) has been sliding in polls recently but is still close to Mr Rutte's VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy).

Mr Wilders, often referred to as the Dutch Donald Trump, wants to take the Netherlands out of the EU - a term known as 'Nexit'.

In the TV debate in Rotterdam, the current PM said to him: "You want Nexit. You want the Netherlands out of Europe. You know this will cost 1.5 million jobs. That would mean chaos for the Netherlands.

"In England (Britain), there's chaos too now, because of Brexit. You want to push the Netherlands into chaos too.

"Don't do it. I sincerely hope you're not going to be the biggest (party), that you won't form a cabinet, I will put up a tough fight."

But Mr Wilders said Nexit would be the "best that that could happen to us. We will become the boss of our own country again. We'll again have the key to our own front door".

And he said Mr Rutte was "scaremongering" as he accused the PM of saying last year Britain was "almost disappearing off the face of the Earth", while the far-right politician pointed out "They're doing better than ever!"

Before the debate, Mr Rutte called on voters to stop the "domino effect of populism", saying Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump should be wake-up calls for the Netherlands.

He said everything had to be done to stop the march of Mr Wilders whose party has garnered significant support during the election.

:: Who is Geert Wilders?

A previous attempt at power-sharing between Mr Rutte and Mr Wilders ended in acrimony and the man almost certain to continue as PM ruled out the possibility of any coalition with his nearest rival with an emphatic "no".

Pushed by Sky News on whether he had moved into Mr Wilders' space, adopting strong positions himself on immigration and posting a letter in Dutch newspapers with the message "act normal or go home", Mr Rutte said: "I am a liberal prime minister and a prime minister of a multi-faceted country with many views, my job to keep that country together.

"I believe we should judge people not by where they come from but by how they behave, not on faith, but how they add to society."

But a diplomatic row and weekend rioting in Rotterdam over Turkey's attempts to hold political rallies in the Netherlands could take votes from the VVD.

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