Brexit: Marine Le Pen ‘can’t be relied upon’ says Robert Oulds
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Director of the Bruges Group, Robert Oulds, spoke with Express.co.uk over whether Marine Le Pen would be a close ally to the UK if she wins the French presidential elections next year. Political commentators have noted Ms Le Pen has been favourable towards the UK and praised voters for taking back their sovereignty via Brexit. But Mr Oulds was not convinced, adding she could not be trusted as she has switched her politics away from a staunch eurosceptic to be more appealing – something Mr Oulds believes says a lot about her personality.
The issue of Frexit has been bubbling in France over the last few years as the movement continues to gain prominence in the country.
Anger at the vaccine rollout and Emmanuel Macron’s strong focus on the bloc has strengthened support for leaving the EU.
However, Marine Le Pen, who campaigned on a eurosceptic and more right-wing ticket in the 2017 election, has since toned the rhetoric down to try and win over more voters.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Oulds did not think Ms Le Pen could be trusted with a Frexit nor would she be a strong ally to the UK.
The think tank boss said a true patriot would “die in a ditch” for their country and did not believe Ms Le Pen showed these qualities after switching her political stance.
He explained: “Marine Le Pen briefly flirted with the idea of France leaving the Euro.
“Unfortunately, she is indeed a fair-weather friend [when she needed] the establishment she turned her back on those policies.
“So the history of the National Rally is that it came from the National Front.
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“They were actually never a eurosceptic party, there was a period in time when her father Jean-Marie Le Pen actually supported the European Union.
“And this was during the time the communists were actually against the EU.”
Mr Ould added Ms Le Pen did not appear to be the right person to deliver a Frexit because it did not look like she was fully committed to the cause.
He continued: “They can’t be relied upon to do a Frexit in that there are other political parties in France and other political movements that actually favour France leaving the European Union.
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“Indeed, many of them actually came over to Britain on the day that we were permitted to leave the EU.
“They actually came over to celebrate and experience Brexit, I attended their events and they were singing the British national anthem.
“All the verses, they actually knew the words”.
Former rear admiral Dr Chris Parry spoke to Express.co.uk about what would happen to the UK if Ms Le Pen won and was more optimistic she would be close to the UK.
He explained: “Le Pen gets into next year, she’ll need allies and the sort of allies that she’ll look for those who are basically those countries that are fairly sceptical about the European Union.”
In 2019, Ms Le Pen said she would welcome the UK into a reformed European Union and was more sympathetic towards voters wanting to leave the bloc but stay in Europe.
She also told reporters in 2017 that the “Anglo-Saxon world has woken up” with regards to Brexit and it would not be long before the rest of the continent does so too.
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