Marine Le Pen has pledged to suspend France’s membership of the European Union’s borderless Schengen area immediately if she is elected to the presidency, and deport all foreign nationals on the republic’s Islamist watch list.
“Every second of my presidency will be useful to France and the French,” said the 48-year-old leader of the Front National, in a video outlining the first ten measures she intends to implement if she is elected.
Pulling out of Schengen, described by former Interpol chief Robert Noble as “effectively an international passport-free zone for terrorists to execute attacks on the Continent and make their escape” following the Paris attacks, means an immediate showdown with the EU’s unelected central executive.
Top eurocrats have already said that, in their view, “There is no legal way to leave the euro or Schengen and still remain in the European Union.”
"Those who make promises, when these are forbidden by the EU and in the same time do not criticize the EU, lie to the French!" https://t.co/p1OT4Pasg3
— Marine in English (@Marine2017_EN) April 9, 2017
Ms. Le Pen said she would give the EU six months to accept wide-ranging reforms permitting member-states signed up to Schengen and the euro to restore their borders and national currencies, or she would organise a referendum on following the United Kingdom out of the bloc.
Officials are quietly terrified by this prospect, with a senior source confessing that, “From the [European] Commission’s point of view, success for Marine Le Pen is a disaster and an existential threat to the European project … We can survive a Brexit, but not a Frexit.”
— Marine in English (@Marine2017_EN) March 10, 2017
Other measures proposed in Ms Le Pen’s ten-point plan include stripping dual nationals convicted of extremist links, such as returning Islamic State fighters, of their French citizenship, lowering the retirement age from 62 to 60, and cutting income taxes.
The theme of the 48-year-old’s campaign has been ‘France First’, with a strong emphasis on safeguarding workers’ jobs, prioritising French nationals for social housing, and so on.
The economic patriotism which I advocate is impossible within the European Union ! https://t.co/SdZi5vZxTQ
— Marine in English (@Marine2017_EN) March 6, 2017
“What is at stake in this election is the continuity of France as a free nation, our existence as a people,” she said in February 2017, describing how “financial globalisation and Islamist globalisation are helping each other out … to bring France to its knees.”
She added, however, that with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, “the people are waking – the tide of history has turned.”