Nationalist groups across the continent are stoking anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiment to win seats in next month’s EU elections

The battle for Europe is coming to a head – but, surprise, surprise, the main focus is not Brexit. Across the continent, far-right populist and nationalist parties are mobilising ahead of next month’s EU parliamentary elections. Polls show their support growing. For Europe’s newly energised hard right, Brexit is both a spur and a sideshow.

Whipping up anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and anti-semitic sentiment, and exploiting public anger over austerity and the perceived arrogance of the Brussels political class, the populists aim to reassert the pre-eminence of national identity, narrowly defined, and halt the European project in its integrationist tracks.

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