Marine Le Pen warns Brussels bigwigs NOT to bully Britain over Brexit

Marine Le Pen warns Brussels bigwigs NOT to bully Britain over Brexit

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Hardliners in Brussels, Paris and Berlin want the UK to be conspicuously worse off after Brexit to ensure other EU members states think twice about jumping ship.

But Mrs Le Pen said punishing Britain would boost populist forces across Europe rather than deter them.

The Front National leader said: “The way the EU has reacted to Brexit has put paid to the few in Europe who still believe that there is an ounce of democracy in this structure, that is the EU.

“Europe would be showing its true face, as it already has done so in Greece and tried to do with Britain.

“This EU doesn’t move forward by consent because it knows its people no longer adhere to this political structure, it advances via threats, intimidation and blackmail.”

Michel Barnier

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave repeated warnings at his opening press conference last year that Brexit would prove “it is much better to show solidarity than stand alone”.

And European Council president Donald Tusk said in a letter to leaders that a Brexit deal must leave everyone in “no doubt” about the benefits of EU Membership.

But analysts have warned of the risk that an EU punishment strategy – designed to faced down the rising forces of populism that now threaten Europe’s political establishment – might have precisely the opposite effect.

Marine Le Pen

Vincenzo Scarpetta, a senior policy analyst with Open Europe, told the Telegraph: “An excessively punitive attitude in the Brexit negotiations could backfire by providing extra ammunition to the various anti-establishment parties across Europe.

“They would be able to claim that the EU is an undemocratic club where a sovereign nation gets punished for merely exercising a right enshrined in the Treaties.”

She said: “Brexit marks the great return of the nation.

“It is the notion that the nation wants to be independent, sovereign that only the nation can decide about its destiny, its future.

“It is this call for freedom that the British people launched by voting for Brexit.”