Tuesday 6 December 2016

French public ambivalent on looming spectre of Le Brexit

Mary Fitzgerald

Published 23/04/2016 | 02:30

French President François Hollande and UK Prime Minister David Cameron; the French leader has warned that the tremors from a potential Brexit would be felt in France and throughout the entire European Union. Photo: Getty Images
French President François Hollande and UK Prime Minister David Cameron; the French leader has warned that the tremors from a potential Brexit would be felt in France and throughout the entire European Union. Photo: Getty Images

In France, they call it 'Le Brexit', and the possibility of it happening has prompted an odd mix of alarm, ambivalence and applause across the Channel. With just over two months to go before the referendum that will determine whether the UK remains in the European Union (EU), French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have warned that the tremors from a Brexit would be felt in France and throughout the bloc.

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French economy minister Emmanuel Macron told a conference in London this week that leaving the EU would make the UK "just like Hong Kong, Jersey or Guernsey".

He warned: "Leave the club and you'll be alone."

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