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Mad for Macron!

Last week, France elected the centrist, non-politically-affiliated Emanuel Macron with a magnificent 66.1% of the popular vote in the second round of the presidential election which saw him up against the National Front’s Marine Le Pen. It’s safe to say that Macron’s landslide is something that even Theresa May might struggle to attain.

Like most, Berkeley Squares was thrilled to see that Le Pen and the far-right had been ousted for a man who claims he is “neither left, nor right”. While people may compare this to Tony Blair’s “lack of ideology”, we think this is the best way to tackle a disillusioned French electorate. Worldwide, many people label themselves as left wing, right wing, socialist, liberal and conservative, but such segregation is is naïve. What we need is unity or, as Macron would put it, “ensemble”!

What does his election mean for us in the UK? Brexit will be an opportunity for us to take a more global view. If the Conservatives win in June, Theresa May should be pleased with what she’s achieved in efficiently turning around the country after the chaos that followed the Brexit vote. However, the primary obstacle remains: negotiating a good deal with Europe.

May needs to take heed in negotiating a successful Brexit, reaching out to European business, giving the French an appetite for a successful British exit and continued close relations. If the French populace want it, Macron has to give it. We cannot allow ourselves, in Macron’s words, to “plunge Britain into servitude”. May and her government must maintain a level head against this future juggernaut of European politics.

May needs to show that, like Macron’s politics, she has something new, dismissing the Etonian old guard of yesteryear’s Conservative party and displaying something reminiscent of Thatcher’s unstoppable government. Maybe Macron will respect her and the UK enough to allow us to pass smoothly out of the EU?

The EU itself should be cautious. Macron’s election, like the Brexit vote, is a push against the European status quo, and if the EU cannot see that they need to change, then they might be “plunged into servitude”.