EU referendum: Frexit? France-EU relationship could be set for change if Le Pen’s National Front wins presidential election
French National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen is revelling in the EU drama that has been unfolding over recent months, hoping a potential Brexit vote could lead to growing euroscepticism in France.
Currently garnering support, Le Pen is planning a push for the French presidency next year, and if she wins she hopes to renegotiate France's membership terms with the EU – much like the UK – against the threat of a referendum on leaving the EU and "Frexit", according to the Financial Times.
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The FN's vice-president, Florian Philippot, told the FT challenging greater integration of the EU had become a taboo subject in Europe, but that the more it's talked about, the more people will vote against it.
“[This is] simply because people will learn more about it and realise how undemocratic it is and how much it has been a source of security weakness rather than strength."
If the UK votes to leave the EU there would be great benefits for eurosceptics across the continent, because “for the first time European integration would rescind”, he added.
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FN has promised to hold an In/Out referendum in France within six months of coming to power. Though it is still unlikely Le Pen will become President, FN has been attracting a larger vote share and she is predicted to make it through to the second round of voting next year.
Even if she does not win, those towards the centre ground will be concerned that her growing influence will put pressure on the government to bow to FN on certain issues.