Brexit and French Elections
Emmanuel Macron is one of the candidates in the presidential election in France . In the first round of elections , he managed to collect 8.5 million votes (23.9 percent) defeating his rival Marine Le Pen who only won 7.6 million votes (21.4 percent). Because none of them are the majority (less than 50%), according to the rules in force in France, the second round of elections will be held.
If Macron wins, it is believed to reduce the likelihood of shocks to Europe’s economy and politics.
As we know, one of Marine Le Pen’s campaigns is for France to follow Britain’s steps to quit the European Union. By some parties, his attitude was seen by some as a threat to the entire European project.
If Macron wins, it is likely that his victory will be welcomed by business people who consider him a pragmatic pro-business figure, even though he has not tested and has no experience.
There is a temporary argument that Macron’s policies that favor business – for example cutting taxes from 33% to 25% and facilitating dismissal (also recruitment) of workers – will make France a more attractive business investment destination in Europe. France is also expected to become a potential business base for the European Union.
For example, most bankers have put France at the lowest level as an investment destination. Macron is expected to bring changes to this.
Regarding Brexit , there are at least two reasons why Macron’s victory could have an impact on Brexit negotiations.
The first reason was Macron’s intention to cut taxes and reduce workers’ rights. In order to be able to launch the program, his government (if he is elected) must get support from the French socialist wing.
If Macron really intends to make France an attractive investment destination country, then it must inevitably have to pay attention to various interests from within the country first. So far, many efforts have been made to reform the labor market but have not shown results.
The second reason is about the stability of the European economy.There are fears that Britain’s departure from the European Union will trigger similar intentions across Europe. Macron is known as one of the EU supporters and he did not hide his dislike of Brexit.
Thus, there are enough reasons to pressure Britain in negotiations related to Brexit which is planned to take place until March 2019. That could mean that the British move will at least be lighter.
What if Le Pen is Winning?
As mentioned earlier, one of Le Pen’s campaigns is “France out of the European Union”. The leader of the National Front once said that he preferred to be a British ally in Brexit negotiations if he became president of France.
In an interview with LBC radio Le Pen said, “There is no reason not to follow Britain’s steps and cooperate with Britain in negotiations between two nations that have trade relations that have been going on for centuries. I can’t see the reason why France and Great Britain cannot have very good relationships. “
Le Pen also criticized the European Union, which he said was “strong-willed” and according to him was influenced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I can’t stand the European Union’s extortion and threat to Britain. This structure (the European Union) can no longer run without extortion and threats. “
On several occasions Le Pen often praised Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. He has also determined to do the same if he is elected president of France.