Speaking just hours before polls open in Britain for their historic vote on continued membership of the European Union, a key leader of the Europe populist right said every European should be able to vote on the nascent super-state.
French Front National leader Marine Le Pen made the remarks yesterday in a discussion on France’s TF1 television where she praised Britain’s referendum and said France — as well as a host of other European nations — wanted a say on their future too.
The French presidential hopeful — who is presently surging in the polls ahead of the 2017 election — told the channel: “What I’m asking for is a referendum in France. Every EU member should be able to have its say in a referendum”, reports Euractiv.
Echoing comments she made in Vienna last week, Ms. Le Pen said France had “a thousand more reasons” than even the United Kingdom to leave the EU, because unlike Britain they are a member of the Schengen free movement area and the Euro single currency which is presently causing enormous harm to the French economy.
Remarking that France had been “betrayed” to the European Union since the nation voted to reject the EU constitution which was later forced on them anyway, Le Pen said she would be the “defender of the freedom of people to choose their destiny and choose their laws”.
Speaking in Vienna on Friday at the first annual conference of the Europe of Nations and Freedoms group Le Pen hit many of the same notes, remarking then that France had greater reasons to leave the EU than France, and that the elites of Europe are rushing to stop Brexit because they “are scared that the United Kingdom is regaining its liberty, its freedom to trade with whom it pleases”.
“We want all the peoples of Europe to take back these liberties. The will of the people has to be respected”.
Others present at the conference included Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the rising Freedom Party of Austria, who followed Le Pen’s remarks by saying: “We don’t want Europe to be a carbon copy of the United States… We want a Europe of fatherlands… The new fascism comes from the left and from radical Islam”.
He said: “Across Europe there is terror”, “mass sexual harassment” and “no-go areas”, remarking “all of this has become possible because our politicians governing today no longer look after their own people. Away with these incompetent and unwilling politicians”.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org