Brexit: Barnier says things will be 'more difficult' for UK
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Nigel Farage questioned Michel Barnier’s manifesto as he noted the former EU Brexit negotiator had previously raged at Mr Farage for his support of Brexit. Mr Barnier announced earlier this week he will be joining the race to defeat Emmanuel Macron in next year’s presidential election in France. Amond the leading features of the Frenchman’s plans was the proposal to shut down France’s border for up to five years.
The GB News presenter said: “Mr Barnier has become the latest centre-right politician to publicly throw his hat into the ring for next year’s presidential election with a promise to reconcile what he called a divided nation.
“Michel Barnier is running to be French President on, wait for it…an anti-immigration ticket.
“And he wants to restore the authority of the state. You couldn’t make this stuff up.”
Mr Farage continued: “I thought he wanted to abolish the state?
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“He always wanted the Star-Spangled Banner, and he wanted us to stand rigid for the European Anthem.
“And he told in a coffee room I was narrow-minded and anti-business to be against the free movement of people. And now he wants to run for French President.
“With me, he was always very polite, haughty, but very polite.”
Mr Barnier, who once served as France’s foreign minister, is being closely watched by Emmanuel Macron’s camp as he could attract support from the pro-European, centre-right electorate the president is targeting.
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During his presidential announcement, Mr Barnier told TF1: “In these dark times, I took the decision to run for the French presidency, to be president of a reconciled France.”
He said: “I think we have to take the time for three or five years to suspend immigration.”
“Overall, immigration policy does not work in Europe as it does not work in France. That’s why I’m making this moratorium proposal,” he added.
The chances of the centre-right camp qualifying for the second round of the presidential election hinge on it unifying behind one candidate.
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Xavier Bertrand, who leads the northern region of Hauts de France, currently has the highest poll ratings among the mainstream centre-right candidates who have declared for the presidency.
But he has until now ruled out participation in any kind of primaries, which still have to be defined and may not even take place.
France’s main centre-right party, (LR), said this summer it would wait until the end of September to decide on the way it will select its candidate for the presidential election.
Valerie Pecresse, another former minister and current head of the wealthy Ile de France region, has vowed to take part in centre-right primaries as well as two other LR officials.
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