Le Pen to ‘threaten’ EU with French exit: Brussels membership to be used as crucial tool

EU: Chris Parry issues warning over Marine Le Pen

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Former rear admiral and managing director of Merl House Consultants Dr Chris Parry spoke to Express.co.uk and believes National Rally leader Marine Le Pen will seek to use France’s membership of the European Union as a political tool to get her own way. Dr Parry explained the eurosceptic leader had previously campaigned for a French-style Brexit agreement but has since toned down her rhetoric to be more appealing to moderate French voters. However, Ms Le Pen still harbours a lot of animosity towards the EU with Dr Parry predicting she will have no problem threatening a pull out to get her own way in a stark shift from pro-European Emmanuel Macron.

Ms Le Pen is the leader of the French National Rally party which historically has been eurosceptic, anti-immigration and has had ties to the far-right.

However, after learning from her defeat in 2017, Ms Le Pen has sought to distance herself from the far-right elements of her party and has toned down extremist rhetoric.

Political pundits suggest due to the looming Afghan refugee crisis which is set to grip Europe, Ms Le Pen may see a positive uptick in her support for her 2022 presidential election campaign.

Politico suggests Emmanuel Macron and Ms Le Pen will enter the second round of voting with Mr Macron narrowly winning 55 percent to 45 percent.

Dr Parry was asked whether Ms Le Pen’s victory in the French presidential elections would change France’s relationship with the UK and whether she will have an impact on the Channel crossings. 

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He said: “I suspect you’re gonna see pressure on people to say why you coming [to France] when [refugees have] already arrived in Italy, Greece or whatever, that’s how I see these things developing.

“I think the bigger worry for Europe is Le Pen coming in, she will probably seek to leave the European Union or at least threaten it in order to get her way.

“So you’ll see far more nationalist approach in that respect.

“I mean I think unless the European Union is able to agree an external borders policy and that implies also in terms of quotas, then you’re going to see the migration issue tear the European Union apart.

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“There is no question that many countries are getting very concerned about the effect on their societies.

“Hungary, of course, is the most extreme case, other countries are getting worried as well as you can see, Denmark, Sweden, other places in the north.”

Ms Le Pen has often praised Britain for its decision to leave the European Union and says the UK are the example to follow. 

During a BBC interview in 2017, Ms Le Pen praised Brexit which she said allowed the UK to pursue a different economic path and urged the EU to change otherwise it would “die”.

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Following her defeat in the same year, Ms Le Pen has changed her rhetoric to be less right-wing and has sought to instead reform the EU rather than leave it entirely. 

Ms Le Pen told Express.co.uk: “The EU functions as a kind of sect that one cannot leave without triggering religious-like condemnation from its leaders.

“I deplored the pathetic attitude of the Europeanists who, after Brexit, would have wanted the British to pay for their taste for freedom, with the barely concealed ulterior motive of dissuading other candidates from leaving.

“The EU sees itself as an ’empire’ and ’empire’ means imperialism.”

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