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Brexit weekly briefing: the French political establishment splinters

Written by The Guardian

As Macron and Le Pen go through from the first round of the French presidential election, what does it mean for Brexit and the UK general election?

Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as the UK heads towards the EU door marked “exit”. If you’d like to receive it as a weekly early morning email, please sign up here.

And now that a general election is under way in the UK, you can also sign up to the Snap, our daily email election briefing, here.

I don’t want a tailor-made approach where the British have the best of two worlds. That will be too big an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities.

Tonight, I am no longer the president of the Front National. I am the presidential candidate.

Ignoring the Brexit issue or trying to downplay it as one issue out of many just won’t work … we have to expose the fact that the mandate the Tories are asking for is not an open negotiation in the interests of the country but for a Brexit at any cost driven by the ideology of the right of the Tory party.

At such a defining moment in French and European politics, surely there can be nothing more important than making sure a key democracy resists the sirens of the Front National, which would restore values from of the darkest eras of French history.

Anti-establishment sentiment can be understandable, but if it’s indifferent to the outcome it produces, then that’s chaos and nihilism – not renewal.

If En Marche!, Macron’s new party, can go from no seats at all to the largest group but are short of a majority their natural allies in getting through Macron’s programme will be from the remains of the Socialists.

Far from irrevocably changing the pattern of French politics, Macron’s remarkable success may simply mark a period of transition in the life of the French Left.

Do not panic too much about this tweet. I guess @EmmunelMacron has many friends. I also met him once… https://t.co/OzLb0q4r4m

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