The newly-elected French president plans to restore European unity after the victory against Marine Le Pen

The election result from last night displays Emmanuel Macron as the new French head of state after defeating his far-Right rival Marie Le Pen.

This result will have long lasting effects for Europe and Brexit.

8 May 2017 – The Telegraph

Projections gave 39-year-old Mr Macron almost two thirds of the vote, showing a clear path to the Élysée Palace for the pro-EU centrist who was a political unknown until three years ago and has never held elected office.

Addressing the nation, a sober Mr Macron immediately reached across the divide to Le Pen voters, saying he heard the “anger, anxiety and doubts” that many had expressed.

But he did not shy away from his internationalist, pro-EU agenda, saying: “I will defend Europe; it is our civilisation which is at stake…I will work to rebuild ties between Europe and its citizens.”

Later Mr Macron took the stage to the strains of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European Union anthem, in the courtyard of the Louvre museum.

He said France was facing an “immense task” to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threats.

“Europe and the world are waiting for us to defend the spirit of Enlightenment, threatened in so many places,” he told the crowd, as his his wife Brigitte and their extended family joined him.

Theresa May discussed Brexit with Mr Macron in a phone call late last night, Downing Street said. The Prime Minister “reiterated that the UK wants a strong partnership”.

“France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities,” the statement said.

Mr Macron is expected to drive a hard bargain over Brexit, striking a strident note during his campaign by warning that negotiations would be “no walk in the park” and that Britain would be left in “servitude” as a result of leaving the EU.

However, the result was welcomed by some senior Conservatives who argued Mr Macron would bring much-needed stability to Europe ahead of the Brexit negotiations.


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