We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

January 09, 2017

FN campaign troubles

What do François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron have in common? They are both pro-EU and pro-immigration. This is the conclusion from Florian Philippot, Vice-president of the Front National, the man to watch out for when it comes to deciphering Marine Le Pen’s strategy. He was the mastermind behind the FN strategy of becoming a majority party, away from targeting Islam and focusing on the EU instead to define a discourse on French identity. They have courted the left electorate in the past, but the FN now needs a strategy against those two opponents. In fact, with five serious contenders in the race, finding a demarcation line is trickier than it used to be. Many observers look at Le Pen, Fillon and Macron as the the ones most likely to reach the second round, as the three top the polls. But there is still some way to go and the FN has some internal battles to overcome. This is not only about finding the finances for its campaign, but there is also a rift inside the party that might become more than just a useful trick to keep its right-wing electorate happy whilst staying on course. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen - the niece of Marine Le Pen and grand-daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen - and the right wing of the party challenged Florian Philippot in the past and favoured a more right-wing strategy, but lost the battle. Now, with only four months to go, she is stepping up her attacks, questioning Philippot's mainstream orientation, and promoting instead a right-wing discourse to win the elections. This will not happen with Philippot. If he resigns, which he sometimes threatens to do, the party's campaign could well falter before it even begins.

Emmanuel Macron continues to roll out his proposals, one by one, and has surged to the top of the popularity polls ahead of Fillon. He is also casting himself as an anti-establishment candidate, and is thus stealing Marine Le Pen's show. He just delivered his proposal on health reforms, which is very much to the taste of the left. That Manuel Valls ignores Macron only enhances the latter's anti-establishment flair. His views on the Franco-German relationship and on education are on the agenda for this week.

Show Comments Write a Comment

January 09, 2017

Objectionable perhaps, but muddled?

If you have two good arguments, the best way to destroy your case is to add a third weak one. This is how Remain lost the EU debate in the UK last year. Their were two good arguments for EU membership - European identity and geopolitical interest. The weak argument is economic. It was too abstract; it didn't work when many people had already suffered a loss of real income; and, most damaging of all, the argument left itself open to being exposed as bogus by subsequent events.

Many of those who advocate Remain keep on doubling down. The economic crisis they forecast for 2016 is now going to come in 2017. They are desperate for a recession to happen because it would prove them right. 

Another mistake is the one committed by Sir Ivan Rogers, the now retired UK representative to the EU. They underestimate the enemy. Theresa May's problem is not muddled thinking. There were iterations during which politicians and officials surely expressed muddled thoughts. But the process that is now emerging is not muddled in any way. There are good reasons to disagree with it. But we guarantee that you will lose the post-referendum debate as well if you think she is muddled.

In her first interview of the year, with Sky News, May gave a fairly clear outline of what is going to be a more detailed statement on the Brexit strategy, due in the next couple of weeks. She indicated that she would leave the single market, as we predicted.

“Often people talk in terms as if we are leaving the EU but we still want to keep bits of membership of the EU. We’re leaving, we’re coming out.”

To us, the strategy seems clear. Full exit in July 2019 or thereabouts; a time-limited transitional period with customs union access, designed to give companies time to prepare the post-Brexit environment; followed by full withdrawal from the customs union on completion of an FTA - or alternatively, if this is not possible, a transition towards a WTO trading regime. 

On the ongoing economic debate, we side with Ashoka Mody, who shows convincingly that the economic effects of Brexit, so far, have been benign and possibly even positive. A fall in the value of the currency is a positive development if you are running an unsustainable current account deficit with massive financial inflows. So is a mild deflation in an overheated segment of the London property market. Mody argues that the likely shrinking of the UK financial sector will be, if anything, a positive development, as it rebalances the UK economy away from finance. Inflation was another prediction that didn't come true.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • September 21, 2017
  • Time to get serious about Brexit
  • Would the FDP claim the job of finance minister?
  • The return of the ultra-right to German politics
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 05, 2018
  • One rock, two vetos, three governments
  • Rutte weighs in
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • December 11, 2017
  • A new era for the French right
  • Growing scepticism of a grand coalition
  • November 17, 2017
  • Germany's climate change hypocrisy
  • Canada minus the plus
  • October 25, 2017
  • How to think about a Brexit baseline scenario
  • Like the right, the left, too, is divided over Europe
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • September 11, 2017
  • Turkey issues travel warning for visitors to Germany
  • How nasty is the AfD?
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • July 17, 2017
  • What Tony Blair's Brexit confusion tells us
  • Schulz advocates compulsory investments
  • Italy’s government has effectively lost its majority
  • June 26, 2017
  • Brexit - the central case and the tail-risk
  • The German fear of Macron
  • June 09, 2017
  • How about the Italian elections...
  • ...and the French?
  • May 24, 2017
  • We are all anti-system now
  • Are the UK’s cards in the Brexit talks really that weak?
  • How Merkel will play Macron
  • May 08, 2017
  • A message of hope
  • Barnier's not so easily agreed Brexit principles
  • The rebirth of the paranoid conspiracy theory
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • March 13, 2017
  • Poland and the future of the EU
  • Polls show 40% support for Costa's Socialists
  • Council of Europe questions Spanish constitutional court reform
  • March 03, 2017
  • Death of Diesel
  • February 22, 2017
  • Schulz and the neoliberals
  • How to get back into the EU
  • The second phase of Trump
  • February 13, 2017
  • What decides the French elections: cult or programme?
  • Sense and nonsense on globalisation
  • Towards the next European crisis
  • February 06, 2017
  • The Schulz effect, mark III
  • Germany's two asymmetric shocks
  • A Brexit conundrum - or not?
  • January 30, 2017
  • On the illusion of choice
  • January 23, 2017
  • What if the populists clash with one another?
  • Why the euro is a real problem for the German left
  • When you call the US, what number do you dial?
  • January 16, 2017
  • Trump doubles down against the EU
  • Fake maths
  • January 13, 2017
  • May to clarify Brexit strategy next Tuesday
  • What to do with Germany's surplus
  • January 11, 2017
  • Macron's European agenda
  • Back to Nigel
  • Operation talking past each other
  • Brexit realpolitik
  • AfD says FN is too leftist for them
  • January 10, 2017
  • Only losers
  • The next stage in the German car emission scandal
  • And what if Socialists rally behind Macron?