Last year, both British and Dutch voters used referendums to make their thoughts clear on the European Union: they are fed up with it. In the United Kingdom, Brits voted in favor of Brexit, while Dutch voters shot down the European association agreement with Ukraine (which was consequently pushed through by the European overlords regardless).
In both cases, voters expressed their growing discontent with the power-hungry technocrats in charge of the Grand European Project™.
This eurosceptic movement has now spread to France. That’s not just clear from Marine Le Pen’s success in the first round of the French presidential election, but also from Emmanuel Macron’s recent flip-flopping. You see, the man who’s known as the most europhile politician in France is suddenly becoming critical of the entire project:
Ah, the old “Let’s reform the EU” rhetoric! Brings back memories…
— LEAVE.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) May 1, 2017
“I am pro-European,” Macron recently said at a campaign stop. “I defended constantly during this election the European idea, the European policies, and so on. Because I do believe it’s extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalization.”
Those are the usual europhile sentiments from Mr. Europe, but he wasn’t done yet:
The question is that you have almost half of this country angry with the European idea and with a lack of satisfaction vis-a-vis what we decided ten years ago and the recent years.
What’s that? Is that actual criticism of the EU?
Why yes, it is. And he had more to say. In fact, he actually uttered a threat:
So we have to reform this Europe, we need a new European Union in situation [please don’t blame me for his horrendous English] to protect our people and regulate our globalization. If the day after [being elected] I decide to follow up and pursue the current functions of the European Union I will betray my people. I don’t want to do so, because the day after we will have a Frexit or the Front National again.
As British Tory Member of European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan rightfully explains on Twitter, this is precisely what former British Prime Minister David Cameron told the European Union just a few years ago. The European megalomaniacs rebuffed him, however, which eventually led to the Brexit referendum and, as we all know, a resounding victory for the Leave camp.
Even Euro-goody-goody Macron is now taking the “reform or we leave” line. When David Cameron said the same thing, the EU refused to budge.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) May 1, 2017
Of course, there’s literally no one with any reasonable amount of common sense who takes Macron at his word. The man’s a europhile now… and that’s what he’ll always be. But that’s not the point. No, what’s important here is that even Macron realizes that he can’t possibly win the elections if he publicly continues to embrace Brussels’ policies. He has to at least pretend to be eurosceptic.
And that is yet another victory for the eurosceptic side.
What’s more, it also sets up Macron for a colossal defeat in the next election (assuming he wins on May 7) if he does end up betraying his voters, which is — of course — what he will do.