Fearful of EU Disintegration and Mired in Crisis, France Wants Britain Punished for Brexit Revolt

But a majority of the French want out of the EU too!

By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

As support for a British exit from the EU strengthens, at least according to the latest polls that give some people whiplash, policy makers on both sides of the English Channel are finally beginning to think about the days, weeks and months after June 23. Some countries, such as Germany, seem more inclined to favor a soft, pragmatic approach in the event of a Brexit, while others, led by the government of France, are calling for a more punitive response.

As originators of the phrase “Pour encourager les autres,” (to encourage the others), it is fitting that France is leading calls for Brussels to punish the UK if its public has the temerity to vote to leave the EU. Among the measures under discussion are to expedite Britain’s removal from all EU treaties rather than let negotiations drag on, as well as restrict the “passporting” of financial services, which allows foreign-owned companies to do business with the EU via offices located in Britain.

“I would be very tough [on this point],” said Sylvie Goulard, a French MEP who sits on the committee for economic and monetary affairs. “I see no reason to give passporting to a country that decides in a sovereign way to leave the EU… The day the U.K. leaves … you cannot consider the British supervising authority as an authority of the EU.”

Such a response could have a devastating impact on the UK’s core industry, financial services.

The City of London financial district is the place with most at stake in the Brexit debate. Its two biggest rivals, Paris and Frankfurt, are vying to take a piece of the action. If Britain left the EU, member countries might re-evaluate whether to recognize clearing houses such as LCH.Clearnet, and may push to force all clearing houses to be based inside the EU — as the European Central Bank has already suggested should be the case [Who’s Really Most Afraid of Brexit? And Why?].

A Britain-less EU might even try to draw business away from the City of London. “I can tell you there is already intense thinking about creating a financial hub on the Continent,” said Elisabeth Guigou, Socialist head of the foreign affairs committee in France’s lower house National Assembly. The fact that Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank’s lavish headquarters makes it the most likely contender but that won’t stop Paris from laying claim to its share of the spoils.

But ultimately it’s not opportunism that is driving the French government’s calls for a hardline approach to a post-Brexit Britain; it’s fear. A vote to leave the EU has the potential to unleash a mass stampede towards the EU’s doors — doors that as yet do not open from the inside. The French government would clearly like to keep it that way.

“If we say you are outside the EU but can keep all of the advantages, access to the single market without any solidarity, it’s a terrible message for the rest of the EU,” a senior EU diplomat told Politico. “A painless Brexit is impossible if we want to keep the rest of the EU present.”

If Pew’s latest Pan-European poll is any indication, the government’s sentiments are hardly representative of the French population at large. In fact, a staggering 61% of French respondents indicated they would prefer to leave the EU — more than any of the other member states surveyed and 13 percentage points more than the UK. A clear majority is opposed to “ever closer union” and wants powers returned to the French parliament, a finding that clashes starkly with President Francois Hollande’s dogged insistence that “more Europe” is the answer to the EU’s woes.

“It is a protest against the elites,” said Professor Brigitte Granville, a French economist at Queen Mary University of London. “There are 5000 people in charge of everything in France. They are all linked by school and marriage, and they are tight.”

As France continues to tighten the fauxsterity screw, at Brussels’ behest, opposition to both the government — already the most unpopular ever — and the EU is almost certain to rise. French protests against the government’s labor reforms continued to rage on Thursday, less than 24 hours before the Euro 2016 soccer tournament kicks off. Once again, Air France pilots are on strike, forcing the company to cancel at least 30% of its flights; so, too, are workers at three of Total’s five refineries and garbage collectors in Paris and Marseilles, leaving the curdling stench of rotten, uncleared garbage to waft through parts of the cities.

In many ways, France was always going to be the EU’s biggest stumbling block, as fauxterity spread from the Eurozone’s southern periphery toward the center. And while some of the labor reforms are perfectly justifiable, Hollande doesn’t command the authority, respect, and public support needed to push them through.

As The Telegraph notes, Hollande is a victim of his own campaign rhetoric four years ago, when he sold 1970s nostalgia and pledged plans to raise public spending:

“Finance is my enemy,” he said. But he failed to grasp the nettle of reform in the first months of his presidency. His credibility is now so low – with 84% expressing a “total lack of confidence” in the latest TNS-Sofres poll – that France is effectively stuck in limbo.

And that’s where it’s likely to stay until either the government or the people break the deadlock. In the meantime, the inexorable countdown to the Brexit vote continues. If the Leave campaign wins, things could very quickly spiral out of control. According to George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire who broke the Bank of England 24 years ago and is once again out of retirement, a British exit could “unleash a general exodus, and the disintegration of the European Union will become practically unavoidable.”

Any attempt by the French government to make Britain suffer as a consequence of that vote is unlikely to change that fact, especially as the French public itself loses faith in the European dream. Indeed, even if there is no Brexit, it seems that France’s problems have only just begun. By Don Quijones, Raging Bull-Shit

Even the staunchest eurocrats are beginning to express doubts. European Parliament Chief Martin Schulz had warned over a possible “implosion of the EU.” But now, the eurocrats are not just falling into despondency and despair, they’re beginning to turn on each other. Read… “The Specter of a Break-up Is Haunting Europe”

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  50 comments for “Fearful of EU Disintegration and Mired in Crisis, France Wants Britain Punished for Brexit Revolt

  1. marty says:

    “especially as the French public itself loses faith in the European dream.” Did the French public ever share the “European dream?” I doubt it was ever theirs. More like a nightmare…

    • d says:

      ““especially as the French public itself loses faith in the European dream.” ”

      As the `reality sinks in, that warmonger france, dosent, and never will, run the EU, entirely for its benefit, at everybody elses expense.

      Typical french arrogance, we are in charge, we get the biggest pieces that we want, or we wont play.

      • nhz says:

        I guess the French are waking up and want out of EU before the bill comes due, after living way beyond their means for many years (not everyone of course but the elites, government workers, unionists etc.) thanks to unlimited free ECB money.

        I have a suggestion for the French: maybe they can do a national strike until the EU allows them to leave, that would sure do wonders for their economy ;-)

        • d says:

          Yes and take the rest of club med, ESPECIALLY greece with them.

          Then Normandy and the rest of the old Aquitaine can succeed back to London and the Majority of Europes problems would be solved.

    • Ladioss says:

      > Did the French public ever share the “European dream?” I doubt it was ever theirs. More like a nightmare…

      You have no idea how extensive the pro-euro brainwashing in France has been since the 80s, when Miterrand realized that damn the french people, he needed a substitutive national dream to survive politically and switched from classic SFIO ideals toward abstract “Europeanism” which was sold as the new opium of the masses – it’s a miracle some voters dared to vote against Maastricht in 92, or against the European Constitution in 2005 : opponents were name-called as ‘nazis’ back then.

    • riqi says:

      Loved those francs with their pretty pictures!

  2. David Calder says:

    What is this going to be like when a real recessions hits? The PIIGS were powerless to do more than swallow the austerity forced upon them but when the real trouble starts they and others will have no choice but to leave the EU and default.

    • Jerry says:

      The recession has already started. All the figures I read are awful, all it will take is the first big domino to fall and we are of to the races.

      • David Calder says:

        I agree with you Jerry. The trouble is we won’t know when this thing started, officially, until we are deep into it or even in a recovery but if past is prologue there will be no recovery. Every “recovery” we have had since at least 2001 has bean weaker than the last and it will only get worse.

      • Exactly and precisely! I am 73, and well remember all the rah rah rah hype over the EU at its onset. As the first born of Italian immigrants to Canada and the USA, having lived in the US for 26 years and Canada for 47, I NEVER could see or understand why this faux ‘union’ would or could work.

        Such a fantasy denies more than 3000 years history which created distinctive folk & cultures across the planet, as well as Europe, ALWAYS a small-time player in international terms until two World Wars decimated others, which allowed it greater prominence. That, however, doesn’t make for overall excellence as a united body, albeit parts of it are very good: France for food, Germany for autos, Italy for mayhem; well, you get the idea.

        As for the concept of a unitary currency –are you serious?– “we can agree to disagree, but never to agree”, to paraphrase an old French wit.

  3. Brett says:

    They will print forever in ever greater amounts before the elites will let their European fantasy fail.

  4. ML says:

    Even if UK doesn’t leave, it is evident France has lost control of its own workers.
    If UK does leave then the only reason for France to adopt a hard line on Brexit terms is to exact revenge on UK having had the foresight to have the refugee border on French soil. The UK does’t want the Calais jungle any more than France does but at least it is on French soil and not ours.
    If France does adopt a hard line then the UK could reciprocate: the UK has been at war with France before.

  5. Paul Schofield says:

    USA insane policies of supporting and funding the illegal coup in the Ukraine by twisted real Jewish and Russian hating Nazis is an attempt to destabilise the Russian federation for the benefit of US banks and imperialists. Central to the success of this action is the support of cowardly EU political leaders and NATO which should have been dismantled with the collapse of the USSR. The recent placing of first strike nuclear weapons on Russia’s borders imperils all Europe for no reason. As Europe’s politicians are too cowardly to stand up to US pressure only the collapse of the EU and the resulting dismantling of NATO will save Europe from a devastating war. Haven’t Europeans had enough of war? Europe developed the rule of law and free civil rights. Don’t cow down to your US masters any longer. Kick them out for the sake of mankind. Best wishes from New Zealand

    • sinbad says:

      Hear hear.

    • Nicko says:

      ….New Zealand. Of course, you do realize the US is protecting your defenseless island from China right?

      • d says:

        He says he is from/in NZ.

        His opinions are far from consistent with the mainstream long term NZ citizens.

        He may be like the thomas loony, who post regular, and lives in NZ now. He brought his loony opinions and positions with him, from his home nation.

        The schofield post is that loony, it is not worth the effort to refute it.

        Yes thanks to a certain leftist female leader, it is very Nation on Nation defenseless now. However the US does still regularly beg to borrow the NZ SAS.

        Which dosent say very much positive about the vaunted American “Special Forces”.

      • JerryBear says:

        China is absolutely no threat whatsoever to New Zealand. It is a pretext for the United States to dominate New Zealand by “protecting” them from China. Unfortunately, the United States has become the primary neo-imperialist power. Increasingly. we are becoming the new bad guys and primary threat to world peace. Of course, i fully appreciate a lot of you have been deceived by carefully crafted disinformation designed to mislead the naive but that is to be expected.

        • nhz says:

          indeed, just like NATO is ‘protecting’ Europe from Russia by trying to start a war time and time again and by forcing an economic boycot and stupid economic policies through their EU henchmen (like the EU commission and ECB) that is causing the EU economy huge damage.

          I know many people from the US complain about having to pay for European ‘defense’, but as a European citizen I don’t want that US ‘protection’, end the occupation of Europe!

          We would be WAY better off trading with Russia and building a common Eurasian market. Russia is culturally and historically much closer to most of Europe than the US, it’s only the EU elites that are really close to US (and Israel).

        • Archie1954 says:

          You do remember don’t you that it was the French secret service that carried out a terrorist attack in Auckland harbour, sinking a Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior and killing one man on board? The only international parties, New Zealand has to be protected from are the French.

        • d says:

          The French and the Communist/Mafia State CCP chinese.

          I heard the Explosion and attended the Terrorist Attack Scene.

          The Wreck was only prevented from Sinking by the Mooring lines.

          You Can Not Sink A Rainbow.

        • d says:

          Pleas do you know, what makes the Ocean Glow.

      • sinbad says:

        Total rubbish, the US devastated the NZ economy when the Kiwis wanted to go nuclear free.

        • d says:

          WHEN HELEN (nanny) CLARK TOLD DAVID LANGE TO GO NUCLEAR FREE, as she wished to make a statement, in support of her chinese masters.

          Labour knew they would destroy the NZ Economy with that act. They did it anyway, so they could be reelected in the carnage.

          Then the same Labour party(Under Clark) entered into a “Free Trade” agreement with china. That has only ever, as it was designed to, worked for china.

          That completely destroyed NZ manufacturing, raising unemployment, and reducing living-standards, for non Labour voters. As was intended by NANNY CLARK. A traitor to her own kind, who ran away to the UN in tears, to be with her girlfriend’s, when she got kicked out of office

    • Dan Romig says:

      Very well stated Paul.

      Look at what NATO just did in Poland with the 82nd Airborne Division flying directly from from Fort Bragg, NC to Torun. 24 NATO nations and 31,000 troops are having “precisely planned complex operations through mid-June” on the Vistula River “to train and test swift joint reaction to threats on land, sea and in the air.”

      As Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated, “(military exercise in Poland) does not contribute to the atmosphere of trust and security on the continent.”

    • Odedbc says:

      “Twisted Jews and Russians”
      Sounds familiar,Jack.
      Same old songs.
      I thought people have grown out of it…

      • EVENT HORIZON says:

        BUT, what is the truth? IT may be the same old song, but, what is the truth? “Same” means nothing. Grow out of what? The Truth?

        • d says:

          You are crusing wright along the edge of some very serious discriminatory issues, that are not funny, or acceptable.

          Especially as you see to find victimizing a group that has been repeatedly demonized and subjected to Industrialized Genocide and pogroms, repeatedly for the last 2000 years, as people like you needed a scape goat. This is a truth.

          An admission of that, and an apology by you, is in order pal.

      • Doug says:

        I don’t think he means what you think he does. The sentence construction is a little confusing: “the illegal coup in the Ukraine by twisted real Jewish and Russian HATING Nazis.” In other words, he’s lambasting Jewish- and Russian-hating neo-Nazis. I don’t know what meaning the word “real” has in that sentence.

      • JerryBear says:

        You are misunderstanding his grammatical construction. What he said can be paraphrased as “twisted Nazis who hate Jews and Russians”. That is unfortunately an all too accurate description of the rulers of the Western Ukraine who are virulent anti-Semites who have encouraged hate crimes against Jews and who are so venomousness hostile to the ethnically Russian Ukrainians that they have plunged the nation into civil war. Our State Department has a lot to answer for for the situation in the Ukraine as well as that monstrous hypocrite Barrack Obama!

    • Jerry says:

      Gidday mate, I have to agree with you. The USA has started the process of decline. All western nations will default on their bonds because the debt Rubicon has been passed. Rather than put up their hands and own up and be honest they are going to take us to war. Remember back in 1932 the whole of Europe defaulted on their bonds and soon after came war. Crash, trade wars, currency wars then WW.

      Looks like I might have brush the dust off my NZ passport and be ready to fly out there.

      • Archie1954 says:

        Can I come with you? I live much too close to the US border not to be irradiated when the bombs start to fall.

    • Robert says:

      ” Haven’t Europeans had enough of war? Europe developed the rule of law and free civil rights. ” The first is a very good question- the Europeans are sick of war (whereas the Americans, fed a daily Pavlovian diet by TV and the movies are addicted to violence), but it is the bankers who are the beneficiaries- this is how central banking came int being, after all, to enable
      deficit war spending that never would have been acceptable through direct funding, i.e., taxes. The fact that there are dozens of undeclared wars going on means that the usual limitations of profiteering during time of war are not imposed. As for civil rights, Europe in general, and the U.K. in particular
      are still very much charmed by royalty, or the idea of royalty, which has never been known for worrying about civil rights much, more about surveillance, which is still all the rage.

      • JerryBear says:

        Maybe there should be a new slogan for Europe: “Peace Over Profit!” We all know the real reason WWI happened.

        • d says:

          ” We all know the real reason WWI happened.”

          Yes warmonger france wanted Alsace and lorraien again so they could continue using them to springboard their war’s as they had been doing for the last 900 + previous years.

          They even stooped so low as to form an alliance with the English they had been Waring with for more than 800 Year’s As they needed somebody who could physically defeat the new Hated by france Germany on their side.

          They didnt care who or what they destroyed in the process. As long as france got, what it wanted.

          Unlike may wars, the prime mover of the franco Prussian war, round II 1914 -1918 (Which france again lost) was not profit.

    • nhz says:

      EU leaders too cowardly to stand up to US pressure, are you kidding? They are all puppets for the US occupation in Europe and all serve the same Zio-nazi masters that are destroying Europe through stupid economic policies, forced massive migrant invasion, idiot military NATO adventures, outrageous propaganda and PC policies, spreading the gospel of entitlement without limits and without any responsibilities.

      Maybe instead of kicking them out we have to encourage the EU elite to speed up the process ;-(

      Best wishes from Old Zealand ;-)

    • Phy says:

      Best wishes from the Internet trolls factory of Leninburg, you mean.

    • A most sage and therefore excellent comment! Kudos to you, from Victoria, BC.

  6. Sydneysider says:

    On a historical note: I believe “pour encouragez les autres” was a Voltaire line (therefore definitely French), but referred to the execution by the British of their own Admiral Byng for allegedly failing in his duty to go cannon-to-cannon with a French fleet in the Mediterranean. So you could see it as a very British concept.

  7. John Smith says:

    France is ungovernable
    You know its bad when TU’s fight to keep folk, particularly young people, out of the jobs market
    The eurozone has become one great job destroying machine
    Greece is getting excited that unemployment has reduced to 24.1% and about 1 in 2 young people do not havea job

    Hollande said he would not stand again if unemployment was running at 10% or above . Currently its 10.2%. Hence all this angst at almost the last moment

    The only job creating country in the EU is the UK. With unemployment running at one half of Frances

  8. Yoshua says:

    Greece has collapsed, Cyprus has collapsed, Spain has collapsed, Portugal has collapsed… Italy is collapsing… France is collapsing… Britain wants out… Germany exports half of its GDP to Europe and would collapse without the European market… the ECB is printing (what ever it takes) to keep Europe alive… the Unions are on strike… we are at war with Russia… we are flooded by Muslims refugees… well… this is the European Banana Union… but we still have vine and cheese.

  9. EVENT HORIZON says:

    FRANKFURT, Germany the home of the “Lavish” European Central Bank?

    It is also the ancestral “home” to the wealthiest family ever, that helped start this mess 200 years ago.

    Is this just a coincidence or am I really a conspiracy freak who sees the clever humor in what those who “run” the conspiracy are doing? Like when Obama swore into office using Abraham Lincoln’s bible (read what Lincoln said about who should rule), and the fact that Andrew Jackson (who stopped the 2nd Central Bank) is on the fiat paper money created by the present Central Bank).

    Irony? Nope. Just a really neat “inside” joke, just as many in the country, in positions of power, have an “inside” name and the “outside” name they use for the public.

    • JerryBear says:

      EH, we all like you. You keep things lively and interesting on here. ^,..,^ But yes, you are a conspiracy freak of the first rank. Not that there aren’t all sorts of conspiracies and you can certainly sense their presence but conspiracy freaks usually get the details all wrong. Still, it is better than being a blind trusting fool…..

    • JerryBear says:

      Hey EH! Speaking about genuine conspiracies, the Bilderberg Conference 2016 is meeting in Dresden, presided over by no less a villain than aging war criminal Henry Kissinger! Here the wealthiest and most powerful masters of civilization and their sycophantic stooges meet to find new ways of increasing their already fabulous wealth by impoverishing just about everybody else. They are also concerned with preventing any resistance to their nefarious schemes. Hillary Clinton is their preferred candidate for President of the United States and they are going to discuss the best ways of stopping Trump. One of many reasons it would make me sick to vote for Hillary though I would sooner cut of a finger than vote for Donald.
      What the Bilderbergers fail to realize is that they already own too much of the world’s wealth. If they continue increasing their wealth it will have truly dire consequences for the world economy and bring about its collapse. Sort of like a vampire sucking out the last few drops of blood from his victim.
      Perhaps E.H. you should take a look at the guest list for this years conference and keep an eye on them for the rest of this year. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to get you.
      P.S. I hear the most important topic of discussion is going to be how to stop the British exit from the European Union. The European Union largely developed from a scheme of the Bilderbergers in the past and the breakup of the EU would seriously threaten their wealth and power.

  10. Lolo Gecko says:

    … Let them eat cake ….

  11. wholy1 says:

    Okay Frogs, punish the “Brutish” scally-wags!
    I’ll watch.

  12. jay says:

    Brexit means zat you English peegs vil not be allowed to purchase all of ze magnifique Fronche farm produce zat costs zo much…or beautiful lemons on veels made by renault or citreon…NON!

    • JerryBear says:

      I think the British will be about as impressed by French threats as I would be impressed by the yips and yaps of a tiny French poodle threatening me.

  13. thejerkstore says:

    Everyone here needs to watch the movie Brexit on youtube for a comprehensive review of what has happened to the empire (good or bad) since the end of WW2.

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