Front National leader Marine Le Pen praised the “courage” of the British people for voting to leave the European Union (EU). She also promised that if elected president she would hold a referendum on France’s membership of the political bloc.
At a Front National rally in Brachey, France, the populist party leader delivered her annual speech urging French voters to “believe in politics, believe in the nation state”.
“Look at the British,” she continued, “They had this courage.”
The nationalist politician stated that Britons defied the “prophets of doom” of the political establishment and “have chosen their destiny”.
“They have decided to become masters of themselves again and to leave the European Union.
“They took the decision to become independent.”
It was in Brachey that Ms. Le Pen’s party won the largest share of votes in the last election, and the rise in the party’s approval ratings in the polls suggest that the Front National could reach the second round run-off in the presidential election next spring.
Ms. Le Pen then announced that if she is elected president, she would hold a referendum on France’s membership of the EU, pledging to stand up for the “France of the forgotten, the abandoned, and the voiceless.”
“We can again be a free, proud and independent people,” she said.
The Front National was the only major French political party to call for Britain to vote to leave the EU. Immediately after the result, Marine Le Pen hailed the Leave vote as a “signal of liberty and freedom to the rest of the world”.
Her niece and MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen also congratulated the British people, tweeting: “Now is the time to import democracy in our country. The French should have the right to choose!”
This promise from Ms. Le Pen comes after an embarrassing defeat over the weekend for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s establishment Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in regional elections in the Chancellor’s home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where Ms. Merkel’s party was pushed into third place by the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.