UK eurosceptics see Macron win as bad news for Brexit talks
Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated France’s incoming president Emmanuel Macron, but eurosceptics reacted angrily yesterday to his election victory, saying it was bad news for the Brexit talks.
Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage said Macron would be European Commission president JeanClaude Juncker’s “puppet” while the Leave.EU group compared his election win to France’s surrender to Nazi Germany.
“France’s new hope puts cloud over Brexit,” read a front-page headline in the
The paper said Macron could be expected to “continue with France’s tough stance on Brexit”.
In the which also supported Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union last year, columnist Robert Hardman wrote that Macron “stands alongside those who favour the big stick rather than the big carrot”.
Macron has been critical of the Brexit vote, defining it a “crime” in an interview for in March.
As he arrived for his victory speech outside the Louvre museum in Paris on Sunday, the EU’s anthem played out — a fact highlighted in British media reports.
But analysts said while Macron is likely to be tough on Britain’s divorce settlement, a victory for Marine Le Pen would have been a worse outcome as it would have meant negotiating with an EU in disarray.
His election “may make it easier for the EU to come to a sensible conclusion” on Britain leaving, said Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics and public policy at King’s College London.
He also said, however, that Macron was likely to “take a relatively hard line on the UK’s participation in the single market”.
Given his banking background, he could also seek to lure more financial jobs to Paris, Portes said.