Frexit on the cards

Not that it’ll happen, this is posturing:

Michel Barnier said that France had to regain the sovereignty it has lost to European courts on Thursday and called for a referendum on a ban on non-EU immigration.

He seems to miss the point of that EU thing in the first place.

The former Brexit negotiator and EU commissioner was accused of hypocrisy because his comments appeared to contradict many of the positions he took when he was helming talks with the UK.

Of course he’s a hypocrite. He’s a politician. He’s also French which is sufficient.

But wouldn’t it be fun if France did leave?

24 thoughts on “Frexit on the cards”

  1. Hey, he wan’t being hypocritical when he was pushing those Brexit-y things.

    He was a paid employee of the EU, peddling the Official Line, and behaved correctly.

    He also made it clearer and clearer, through this transparent honesty, why we should quit ASAP with only things that suited us tying us back to the swarm.

    Now, he’s a (past his elect-by date) politician, and so he has to find some things which might appeal to enough folk to get him elected – or at worst, significant.

    And in fact the EU isn’t there to accept lots of non-EU immigrants. It’s there to drive ever-closer integration. That integration **could** choose to erect Trumpian fences around its perimeter. Just as it **could** choose to have a sensible energy policy

  2. I thought a EU pension was dependant on the recipient continuing to support the EU’s “values”? If correct I hope the EU is looking at this..

  3. Raffles, he’s working with the full authority of the EU. In the unlikely event that he is elected he will immediately revert to being the EUs man in France. All the things he’s said, well, it’s not that easy. There are agreements that can’t be broken, etc. etc. etc.

  4. Fun if they did, but like BiTiN, I don’t believe Barnier’s comments are incompatible with EU membership, or even developing EU policy, at all.

    That said, the French do have a fair few real problems with how things have panned out.

  5. Ducky

    Indeed they do. I suspect that part of it is the natural behaviour of French politicians to sneer at those who are not of the same ‘class’ as they – Hollande’s rudenesses towards the ‘sans dents’ are typical – and in Macron’s case his deep-seated belief that he was the natural God-Emperor of Europe, with being Prez of France just an incidental stepping stone.

    The end result is that nothing ever changes, except that the percentage of folk who are directly dependent on the State for income increases year upon year. And that eventually must end in tears.

    Interesting, there’s no reason at all for any of this to change were they to Frexit – it’s all self-inflicted harm. The French government has long had a policy of implementing/enforcing only those laws which suit it.

  6. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    What abacab said.

    He’s there to split the Le Pen vote to gift the EUs chum Macron another term. Surprised people can’t see that.

  7. HHG, abacab

    Good hypothesis, but I dunno.

    I think that he wants to be recognised as someone vital, important and even clevererer than M. Macron, but so much more practical and effective.

    Deluded, but there y’go. As Mr. Tim says, he’s French…

  8. Nah, if he’s there to split the vote, he’s got about 12 candidates ahead of him. Scooting around the Frog newspapers the other week, he seems to register with voters as some bloke who had something to do with the Winter Olympics 30 years ago. That said, he does seem to be viewed as a fairly boring pragmatist, not an ideologue, but this election is a foot in the door for the next.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    Michel Barnier said that France had to regain the sovereignty it has lost to European courts on Thursday and called for a referendum on a ban on non-EU immigration.

    A good deal of bait ‘n’ switch there. He’s not calling for the end of free movement or any other integrationist policy. The non-EU immigration bit is just about standard policy across the EU and is a safe dig at Merkel now she’s history.

    Anyway, as far as the French are concerned, or at least their elite, France is the EU, and the EU is France. The only way France “leaves” the EU is if all the other members quit.

  10. “Member wondering why enraged frogs chopped a lot of people’s heads off in 1789?”

    Because a bunch of provincial lawyers and the like worked out that they could use the Paris mob to get themselves political power.

    When the peasantry in La Vendée objected they slaughtered them on an enormous scale.

    Just another reason to support Mr Tim’s advice not to become peasants.

  11. “When the peasantry in La Vendée objected they slaughtered them on an enormous scale. ”

    Part of French history widely unknown. “Leave not a chimney standing” The peasantry were herded on to barges which were sunk with cannon fire. In ’40 the citizens of Royan cheered the occupying Germans

  12. He’s there to split the Le Pen vote to gift the EUs chum Macron another term. Surprised people can’t see that.

    Doesn’t really work with the Frog two-round electoral system. If nobody wins >50% of the vote on the first round, the top two go into a head-to-head. If that’s Le Pen v Macron, granny’s boy will probably* win.

    * I would have said ‘sadly’ – but not my circus, not my monkeys.

  13. @bis: another rich bit of French history was the crusade against the Albigensians (= Cathars), a gorefest in the south rather than the west.

  14. “ He’s there to split the Le Pen vote to gift the EUs chum Macron another term. Surprised people can’t see that.”

    As Terese’s May found out and as Trudeau currently seems to be discovering the people aren’t as stupid as they think and will occasionally get tired of cynical political behaviour

  15. @dearieme
    “another rich bit of French history was the crusade against the Albigensians (= Cathars), a gorefest in the south rather than the west.”

    I’ve spent considerable time in that part of France. Even now there’s an undercurrent of resentment. But maybe that’s just an aspect of what unites the French. Abhorrence of Paris.

  16. By pure chance, chatted with someone this evening who knows Barnier.

    He has Barnier pegged as a mec who is **far** too honest to be a politician, and thus unelectable.

    He also reckons the bloke isn’t fit to be Prez, but alas that goes for the lot of the,

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