Will Michel Barnier run for French president? EU negotiator hints at challenge to Macron after Brexit deal is done, saying he is ‘available and mobilised’
- Michel Barnier has sparked speculation that he may run for French president
- Without being specific, Barnier announced that he is ‘available and mobilised’
- France is less than two years away from its next presidential election in 2022
It comes after Barnier has for years worked on navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union as the EU’s chief negotiator.
In July 2016, Barnier was appointed the European Commission’s chief negotiator with the UK over leaving the European Union.
Barnier, 69, had previously served as a European Commissioner and French foreign minister.
Michel Barnier has sparked speculation that he may run for French president in 2022 after the Brexit deal is done, saying that he is ‘available and mobilised’
His recent comments suggest he could be planning to challenge Emmanuel Macron as leader of the centre-right Republican party.
Barnier was not specific about what his future plans are, but he hinted that he plans to play a role in serving his home country of France,
Speaking on the country’s Franceinfo radio, he said: ‘I will use my energy to serve my country.’
‘I am a patriot and a European,’ Barnier said, as quoted by France24.
But he added: ‘I never stopped being involved in the French political debate. I will see where I can be useful.’
Barnier said he was looking to ‘contribute to my political family, which needs to be rebuilt, and to the French political debate’.
France is less than two years away from its next presidential election in which Mr Macron will be seeking reelection.
Macron’s popularity has taken a hit in recent months, falling to just 38 per cent in September before rising to 41 per cent in November
Macron’s popularity has taken a hit in recent months, falling to just 38 per cent in September before rising to 41 per cent in November.
It comes as the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union on December 31.
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, a European Unionist and Frenchman to the core, has predicted tough times ahead for Britain.
Barnier said that ‘when you see today’s world, a dangerous, unstable and unjust world, I definitely think that it is better to be together, with our neighbors in a union, a single market, than everyone being in their own corner, with their own interests.’
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