1. Macron wants to force Britain’s fast exit from the EU
Emmanuel Macron and France appear to have the power to force Britain out of the EU on their terms and are looking to use it. As a result, president Macron also has his eye on the wider French national economic interests. Poaching jobs and lucrative business from the City of London and Canary Wharf would help Paris eclipse London. Manufacturing displaced from the UK could come to France. This is clearly France’s own interest and which is not aligned with the EU’s, and could lead to a clash between the two parties.
2. France clashes with EU on climate
France has already clashed with the EU in another sign that it has taken to its own path to reach its goals, as Emmanuel Macron has branded Brazil’s president a liar and threatened to block the European Union’s trade deal with the Mercosur countries as he prepares to whip the Group of Seven leaders into climate action. “Under these conditions, France will oppose the Mercosur [Free Trade Agreement with the EU] as it stands,” said a French official. Although France and the EU agree on opposing the Amazon fires, France is taking a much more hard-line and direct approach unlike the EU.
3. France uses amazon fires to oppose EU
It appears France is using the latest Amazon fire dispute to publicly oppose the EU and take control of its policies. Mr Macron, and Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, now say they will not ratify the EU-Mercosur trade deal unless Brazil shows a commitment to protecting the environment. This is a big move, because the EU-Mercosur trade deal has been described as the EU’s biggest deal to date, and would cut or remove trade tariffs on both sides, giving EU firms that make industrial products and cars access to Mercosur, and helping Mercosur countries export farm products, including beef, sugar, and poultry, to the EU.
4. France wants to lead EU on migrant crisis
France wants to direct EU policy on the migrant crisis, as French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed to push for more solidarity in the European Union over the migrant crisis. Macron implicitly criticised Italy’s hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who recently refused to allow migrants on board a rescue ship to disembark. Macron said “unacceptable decisions have been taken, again” and stressed that countries “must find a European solution.” It remains to be seen whether he will find a common or differing solution with the EU.
5. Still showing solidarity with Germany
Despite France’s increasing diversion from the EU’s general policies, sources of commonality remain, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced her total support for French President Macron. “The chancellor fully supports the French president,” Steffen Seibert told the press in Berlin on Friday, adding that “The magnitude of the fires on the territory of the Amazon is frightening and threatening, not only for Brazil and the other countries concerned but for the whole world.” The upcoming G7 summit will also be an opportunity to help mend French-German ties, but France’s goals have become clear, and it is unlikely they will back down.