Populist leader Marine Le Pen has promised to organise a national referendum on immigration as her first act as president if she wins the French elections in 2022.
The National Rally (Rassemblement National/RN) leader told French media that if she won next year’s election, her “first decision would be the organisation of a referendum on immigration”.
“It has been decades since the various governments made decisions on immigration with the French people ever being listening to or questioned on the subject,” Ms Le Pen said, according to broadcaster France Info.
“Secondly, I would go to the European Commission [the EU’s powerful unelected executive] to explain to them what I consider to be non-negotiable in the area of national sovereignty and in particular the control of our borders, because I consider border control a matter of national sovereignty,” she added.
Poll: Le Pen and Macron Almost Neck and Neck in French Presidential Second Round https://t.co/TgMwEV379o
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 28, 2021
Her third policy would be to implement major reforms to the French tax system, saying that there was an “unsustainable pressure” on the middle classes of the country.
The presidential candidate has floated the idea of a referendum on immigration before. In September of 2019, she said President Emmanuel Macron had not sufficiently addressed the issue since coming into power in 2017.
“Nicolas Sarkozy did the same thing. He had taken this debate on immigration when he was a candidate, and then we saw what happened when he came to power. I think that Emmanuel Macron will do nothing,” she said.
“These are questions to which the French have the right to answer, have the right to be questioned on, because it’s been the case for the past 30 years that an immigration policy which is contrary to their will has been carried out,” she added.
The idea of Swiss-style citizen-initiated referendums (RIC) was a major part of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement that swept France before the Wuhan virus pandemic.
The protest movement was also galvanised by the economic hardships felt by many middle class rural and semi-rural citizens of the country.
WATCH: Marine Le Pen Shares Video of Gun Battle in Multicultural Montpellier, Compares to Baghdad https://t.co/ZmwcHHnEaN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 2, 2020