Politics Explained

Could France actually leave the European Union?

Friday 16 April 2021 23:31
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<p>Emmanuel Macron: have the French learnt any lessons from Brexit?</p>

Emmanuel Macron: have the French learnt any lessons from Brexit?

T

he European Union’s former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has reignited talk of “Frexit” with comments interpreted by Eurosceptics as a warning that France could still follow suit in exiting the bloc.

As incumbent president Emmanuel Macron trails in the polls to Marine Le Pen – who is no friend to the EU – ahead of next year’s elections, Mr Barnier said: “We could draw some lessons from Brexit for ourselves. It’s now too late for the UK but not for us.”

Fresh from the coalface of negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, Mr Barnier insisted last month that he was ready to run for president in 2022, and appears to be staking a claim to be the superior pro-European candidate on the centre-right – having announced the creation of a “Patriot and European” faction within the struggling Les Républicains party in February , as it seeks a candidate capable of challenging within the current two-horse race led by Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen.

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