As the UK begins its slow slide away from continental Europe – made more real by the Government’s publication of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to trigger Article 50 – there seems, at least seen from here in France, to be a possibly greater British interest in Things European after too many years of relative detachment.
Brexiteers crowing about the continuing Europe-wide effects of that 23 June vote? Remainers reflecting on what they will lose? Abstainers wondering what ‘Europe’ was about?
I moved from London in 1991 and, since then, have lived half an hour’s train ride to the west of Paris. Before leaving London, I had been a political activist – they’re delightfully called militants here. Among other activist activities, I chaired North Islington Labour Party when J Corbyn was first adopted as Parliamentary candidate, was his General Election Agent twice, and helped establish the alas-now-defunct Red Rose Club.
French people outside France can continue to vote in their national Elections: they even have 11 MPs (and 12 Sénateurs – in the Upper House) representing the French abroad. But 15 years away from the UK – stateless. So the last decade of our 26 years here has been rather frustrating, culminating in our inability to participate in That Vote.
This blog will try to describe over the coming 100 days the politics and the political process leading to the French Presidential Election: the first round on 23 April, with a run-off between the top 2 candidates on 7 May.
Well. That’s what the first 100 Days of my blog was about.
With the Presidential Election over, I felt it might be interesting to try to continue a more irregular commentary. After all, the ability of President Macron to achieve any of his goals at all will be wholly determined by the results of June’s Legislative Elections.
And it came to pass that I felt it important to try to maintain my European-ness post-Brexit. I’m delighted and proud to be able to record that I now have dual French AND British nationality.
Might that result in a different perspective on Events French? We shall see … but I sincerely hope not, and it’s definitely not intended.