Is a Frexit Possible after the Elections in France?
It is a well-known phenomenon that presidential elections are a time when all ideas, even the most unlikely, resurface. Indeed, in light of recent geopolitical events around the world, the French public is debating whether remaining in the European Union (EU) is the best option.
Brexit: A Breath of Fresh Air for British International Trade
EU law will no longer apply to the UK as of December 31st, 2020. The country has formally and irrevocably exited the union. The consequences of this exit include, among other things, the country’s exclusion from all bilateral and multilateral agreements concluded within the framework of its EU membership. However, what initially appeared to be a setback has turned out to be a great opportunity.
By leaving the EU and the agreements concluded by the EU, the UK has given itself the opportunity to renegotiate bilateral agreements with other countries, putting forward its own interests, which was impossible when the UK was a member of the union. Thus, since the implementation of Brexit, the UK has concluded agreements with the US, the EU, Kenya, Ghana, China, India, and a number of other countries, confirming its desire to be alone in determining its international trade policy.
Would Frexit Be Advantageous for France?
This freedom of choice observed in the UK has given rise to a sense of rejection of Europe among a segment of the French political class. So, for far-right or far-left populist candidates, leaving Europe appears to be the solution to all of France’s economic ills. Using England as an example, Marine Le Pen, the president of a far-right party, stated that the EU prevented member countries from freely pursuing policies that suited them, particularly in terms of the economy and immigration. «It is time to put an end to the European Union,» she said in a foreign media interview in 2021.
In reality, however, the UK and France are in two different situations. The UK was a member of the EU but not of the Eurozone. As a result, it retained its own currency, which France did not. Furthermore, leaving the EU would require France to renegotiate its partnerships with African and Asian countries, which would be a risky endeavor because many of these agreements would no longer be viable in their current form if renegotiated.
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