A movement in Leipzig for the city to break away from the European Union is gaining momentum. The group calls itself Lexit – Leipziger gegen institutionalisierte Tyrannei – and is made up of people of different ages, backgrounds and political orientations.
It’s an unprecedented joint effort in town, uniting people who don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues.
“One thing we can all agree on,” says Christoph Schmidt, founder of Lexit. “We feel that the EU does not represent us. Globalization has cheated us all. And Germany does not represent us, either, if it remains in the EU.”
Made up of 500 people so far, Lexit began last month in the Leipzig quarter of Connewitz, known for its alternativeness. It has been quickly spreading to other quarters of the city, and is working to spread to other parts of Germany as well.
Schmidt says Lexit has four possible outcomes in mind.
The ideal outcome for the group would be for all of Germany to separate from the EU. If that doesn’t happen, an alternative would be for Leipzig to seek to remain in Germany, but be allowed to “relocate” outside of EU jurisdiction. Should the Bundestag offer resistance, Leipzig could seek to break away both from Germany and the EU. The final option, if the group does not garner much support beyond its core quarter of Connewitz, would be for the quarter to declare itself autonomous.
“This would be a scenario like Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, where the entrance sign says ‘You are now exiting the EU,’ but of course, our ambitions are greater,” Schmidt says.
Schmidt is in contact with possible representatives in Halle (“Hexit”) and Dresden (“Drexit”). He will visit Berlin soon (“Berxit”), where he says a Reichstag politician he cannot name has agreed to meet with him in an undisclosed Kreuzberg pub. The Lexit leader is setting his sights on Bavaria next, where he expects the movement will be warmly welcomed.