Emmanuel Macron’s rivals have been jumping on Frexit-like pledges since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal last ruled that parts of EU law are incompatible with the constitution. The decision was seen as undercutting the legal pillar on which the 27-nation EU stands by anti-Polexit protesters who took the streets of Poland on Sunday.
The issue sparked a strong debate on legal sovereignty in France, with Emmanuel Macron’s rivals – proclaimed or otherwise – congratulating Poland and calling for a similar approach in France.
The debate is giving hopes to Frexit campaigners that a referendum on France’s membership to the EU could be called as soon as next year.
Generation Frexit leader, Charles-Henri Gallois, argued that voters will be able to finally realise a reform of the EU is not a viable option and that a referendum on France’s place in the bloc might be the only solution.
He told Express.co.uk: “I am happy that Eric Zemmour, Marine Le Pen and even more surprisingly Michel Barnier are raising the issue of immigration as an issue with the EU.
“So the concept of sovereignty, of taking back control, is quite central to the debate at the moment because it is very much based on immigration.
“Marine Le Pen was very bad at the debate in the last election, so people knew that she could never be elected.
“I am positive we could reach some sort of referendum on Frexit this time around.
“Some still say that French law should be superior to EU law, but that’s quite hard to put in place because of our own constitutional issues against European Court of Justice jurisprudence.
“So maybe the candidates will come to the conclusion that to take back control they will have to ensure that it ends with a Frexit referendum because they can’t change the EU and they won’t be able to apply that policy.
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After Poland’s top court’s ruling, National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, still tipped to face Mr Macron in the last round of the 2022 elections, said: “By affirming the primacy of its constitutional law over European legislation, Poland is exercising its legitimate and inalienable right to sovereignty.
“By an act of judges which does not differ in any way from the procedure of the Court of Karlsruhe [German constitutional court], quite admitted in the case of Germany, Poland came to remind a European Union tempted by the establishment of a Jacobin dictatorship that each people is entitled to define its laws.”
Ms Le Pen also promised a referendum on France’s immigration system in a bid to regain control over borders.
A similar proposition was advanced by former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who argued for a halt to non-EU immigration and a referendum on France’s legal sovereignty from EU courts.
The far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour, who has not yet declared himself a presidential candidate, also cracked a press release last week entitled “It is time to restore French law to its primacy over European law”.
“The European Commission is leading a violent legal assault against the peoples who reject its ideological line. It is urgent that France join these nations in their fight for freedom, ” he wrote.
“What you are proposing, ultimately, is Frexit”, “a throwback of 60 years for which we would pay a high price”, replied on Twitter the MEP Agir Fabienne Keller.
Sovereignist candidate for the Elysee Nicolas Dupont-Aignan also congratulated Poland and added: “No sooner do the Poles assert their sovereignty than Clément Beaune threatens financial sanctions.
“Shameful blackmail to the recovery plan which reveals the nature of these small agents of the EU: enemies of democracy who serve their supranational thing against the peoples.”