For years, the main parties of the UK have had virtually no relations with the Front National of France, the party founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen and currently led by French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
Even though many, including myself, are predicting that Le Pen will be the next French President, the UK elite still have virtually no communications with her or her party.
I doubt this will change between now and the election. What will change is that now, many in the UK establishment will be quietly hoping that she wins the French election. Some may even mouth the phrase ‘I’m with her’ while looking out from the White Cliffs of Dover.
One of Marine Le Pen’s stated goals is to remove France from the EU. If Frexit happens, it will shake the EU to the core. Because of their regional political and economic weight, Germany along with France are the two central pillars of EU power.
If one pillar is removed, the entire edifice will collapse. If Le Pen does this, the EU will change beyond recognition. It may be replaced by something resembling a looser alliance, similar to the European Free Trade Organisation which non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein are members.
This would make Brexit much easier, it may even make it so that there is no longer an EU to leave and therefore Britain could come back to whatever table is set up as an equal partner in future restructuring of Europe.
This has the potential of making both pro-EU Britons as well as Brexiteers happy. Brexiteers would get to witness the collapse of the EU which they can rightly claim some part in helping to end, and remainers would feel powerful again as European countries would once again be interested in what British Europeanists have to say.
With Scotland set to hold another referendum on independence, but with Nicola Sturgeon saying she is still willing to negotiate with Westminster for a Brexit that gives leeway to pro-EU Scottish public opinion, Le Pen could be the ace in the pack for both London and Edinburgh.
Because no one in Britain drafted any serious plans for Brexit, the process has been mired in chaos, confusion and contradiction. If Le Pen who has articulated concrete and consistant proposals for a post-EU reality, the woman that Britain’s establishment loves to hate could save both England and Scotland a great deal of trouble.