|Emmanuel Macron (La République En Marche, since May 2017)
Édouard Philippe (Independent, since May 2017)
|Size||643,801 km² (248,600 sq. miles)|
|MEPs||79 (joined the EU in 1958)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2022|
|Last meeting with Boris Johnson||23 September 2019|
|Brexit priorities||The French Government plays an important role in the Brexit negotiations. Not only is it one of Europe’s most powerful countries, but it also has close connections to the EU’s Brexit negotiation team in Brussels.
Calling Brexit a “crime”, Mr Macron is expected to take a tough stance in the Brexit negotiations. While seeking a closer relationship with Germany, France’s main aim is to keep the EU27 united and avoid further disintegration of the bloc.
As a liberal, Mr Macron highly values the EU’s single market and is unlikely to agree to anything that could jeopardise it or the institutions that support it. He will also be seeking to tempt London’s financial sector to relocate to France in a bid to boost the economy.
Another topic that will be high on France’s agenda is security and immigration. Mr Macron during his campaign suggested he would like to partially negotiate the Le Touquet agreement, which allows British immigration officers to check passports in Calais. He wants the UK to take more responsibility in managing the issue of refugees and migrants who get stranded on the shores of Calais.
|What Mr Macron said on Brexit||“Brexit cannot lead to a kind of optimisation of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. An exit is an exit. I am very determined that there will be no undue advantages.”
“Of course the door is always open as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished”
“I do prefer a deal, but I would never favour a bad deal.”
|France’s priorities||Mr Macron wants to strengthen the ties with the EU and rebuild its relationship. He wants to reform the governance of the Eurozone and is in favour of having a common fiscal policy, a joint finance minister and completing the banking union.
Mr Macron seeks to steady public finances by decreasing public spending and keeping the national deficit below 3% of GDP. He wants to create a more pro-business climate and boost employment by relaxing labour laws, cutting business taxes and encourage social mobility. The unemployment rate in France is 10.1%.
In this context, the government has been facing protests from the yellow vests movement. Launched in October 2018 to protest against increased diesel taxes, it has widened to become a movement against President Macron’s general policies.
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