Britain finally completed its full departure from the EU on New Years Eve, four and a half years after the historic Brexit referendum and thus ending almost 50 years of EU membership. London and Brussels had reached a post-Brexit trade deal a week earlier, after several months of tense and often bitter negotiations between the two parties. The UK had been locked in a transition period of almost a year that forced it to continue to follow EU rules regarding the customs union and the single market.
Now, the coined phrase ‘Frexit’ – created to try to force France’s own exit from the EU – is picking up speed significantly on social media as demands for the country to be next to leave the EU. block continue to increase.
Charles-Henri Gallois, president of the Generation Frexit political movement, believes that France is getting closer to leaving the EU and demanded that the country “take back control” as the United Kingdom did after Brexit.
He warned that despite the billions of euros France would lose by continuing to be a long-time member of the EU, the argument centers on sovereignty and democracy, but warned that the latter does not exist in the block at the moment.
“France is a big country and should regain control!
“You can have thousands of economic arguments because the EU is costing us dearly financially (cost of the overvalued euro for our economy, France is the second largest contributor to the EU budget, France will lose 40 billion euros in the stimulus fund) but ultimately it is a question of democracy.
“Do we want to be governed by French people whom we elect and who we can dismiss in the next elections if the policy is bad? There is no democracy in the EU.
Mr Gallois is also convinced that Frexit activists would be able to force a victory if a referendum on France’s accession to the EU were to take place.
The referendum on the French European Constitution took place in May 2005, resulting in a victory for the “no” campaign, with 55% of voters rejecting the treaty with a turnout of 69%.
He saw France become the first country to reject the treaty, and the second country to go to the polls in a ratification referendum, after a Spanish referendum broadly approved the treaty a few months earlier.
He explained: “France can certainly be the next country to leave the EU and we are working on this with Generation Frexit.
“I think if we can get a referendum on Frexit, we will win it because we will have a real debate on the EU, which is not the case in other elections.
“It also helps to overcome the gap that exists between left and right in other elections.
Mr Gallois concluded: “We should get this referendum and in fact every Democrat in France, whether you are for Frexit or not, should ask for this referendum.
“It should be normal and democratic for the French to have their say in the referendum: do we still want to stay in the EU in the face of massive changes? ”