‘Don’t be like Brits who cried over Brexit’- French PM tells EU voters

Gabriel Attal warned that the election of several far-right French MEPs would be ‘tantamount to France leaving Europe’

Mr Attal said that MEPs have a crucial job in defending France’s interests in the important EU arena
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French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has warned people in France to “not be like the British who cried over Brexit”, 10 days before the European elections.

The PM said that the elections should not be seen as a “referendum for or against the government”, speaking in an interview with RTL, as a long list of MEPs from the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party are on the voting sheet.

Mr Attal denounced the party, formerly led by Marine Le Pen and now headed up by Jordan Bardella, and dismissed its claims that Emmanuel Macron has “a hidden agenda”. He also said that voting for RN MEPs would be “tantamount” to wanting France to leave Europe.

Read more: Updating EU election poll: See changes in intention to vote in France

He said: “The RN is doing everything to avoid talking about Europe in this election. Why? Because the reality is that their programme, at European level, would be tantamount to France leaving Europe.”

“All those who claim that this election is a national issue are playing into the hands of the extremists,” he added. “The question being asked on June 9 is whether France will be the country that sends the largest number of far-right MEPs to the European Parliament”.

He said that if this were to happen, European institutions could “come to a standstill”, with “very dangerous consequences”, he said. “Europe is mortal,” he warned.

Read more: ‘Brexit: no-one else dares speak of leaving’: President Macron

Mr Attal said he believed that leaving the EU would “considerably weaken the country in many respects” and said that France would “not be stronger if we turn on ourselves”.

“We won't be stronger if we're more alone,” he said. “But I'm convinced that the French understand that.”

Mr Attal has said that MEPs have a crucial job in defending France’s interests in the important EU arena, including pushing for more investment to keep up with competition from the US and China, a more effective immigration plan, and better policies for women and young people. 

The PM said that the MEP for the President Macron's Renaissance party, pro-European Valérie Hayer, would focus on all of these topics and defend French interests.