Emmanuel Macron, the financier-turned politician, became France’s youngest ever president yesterday after winning two thirds of the popular vote.
But what will the election of the 39-year-old centrist mean for the UK’s Brexit negotiations?
Timeline for Brexit
- January 15, 2019
Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit pressure group set up by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage criticised the outcome of the French presidential vote on Twitter.
The tweet included a photo of a newspaper headline from 1940, comparing Macron’s win to the surrender of France to the Nazis.
— LEAVE.EU 🇬🇧 (@LeaveEUOfficial) 7 May 2017
Farage tweeted to say that Macron will be at the mercy of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.
A giant deceit has been voted for today. Macron will be Juncker’s puppet. https://t.co/cEnK66fxcy
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 7 May 2017
What do we know about Macron’s view of Brexit?
Macron is pro-European and referred to Brexit as a “crime” in his election manifesto.
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After a meeting with the British prime minister Theresa May in February, he told reporters at Downing Street:
Brexit cannot lead to a kind of optimisation of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. I am very determined that there will be no undue advantages.
However, Macron’s chief economic advisor today insisted that France’s president-elect has “no interest” in punishing Britain although he will still be “tough” in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
“I don’t think anybody has an interest in a hard Brexit. I think we need to build a new relationship. There is a mutual interest in keeping prosperity that exists and has built over the years,” Pisani-Ferry told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Simon Fraser, the former Foreign Office permanent under-secretary agrees that there is no reason to fear a Macron presidency in Britain.
“Macron likes us, he likes the City of London and he is an economic liberal,” he said.