PRESS RELEASE – French Abroad Federation of the French Socialist Party
David Cameron, populist and Eurosceptic prime minister of the UK, is threatening to sever ties with Europe, after having pleading for union with the people of Scotland.
The French Abroad Federation (“Fédération des Français de l’étranger” or FFE) of the French socialist party firmly condemns the xenophobic and anti-European statements of David Cameron, which were made just as his legislative campaign kicked off.
The British prime minister, while explaining his electoral strategy, declared that immigration would be a core theme of his campaign. In particular, he insisted that what he considers to be the “excellent” economic results of his policies, led to an influx of immigrants from Italy, Spain, and France, to the detriment of the British population. Mr. Cameron then announced that he would renegotiate open borders policies in the European Union, and explained that he would not hesitate to campaign openly for the UK to exit the EU, should his demands be ignored.
Gabriel Richard-Molard, federal delegate for Europe at the FFE, criticized this position: “By invoking the red herring of xenophobia and anti-European sentiment, Mr. Cameron is trying to gain votes amongst extremist UKIP voters. But in doing so, he strains the trust of his European partners. Cameron has made the UK an anti-European, xenophobic, and conservative power, which will not be without consequences. Rather, the EU could soon no longer want him. ”
The prime minister’s statements are symptomatic of a resurgence of populist and xenophobic rhetoric in Europe, such as the nomination by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, of Tibor Navracsics, the ideologue behind the authoritarian reforms of Victor Orban in Hungary, or the anti-European statements of conservative CSU and CDU members who support Angela Merkel in Germany.
The FFE, which includes over 1,600 members in 110 chapters around the world, is calling on European citizens and their political representatives, including those in the European Parliament, to reject strongly this authoritarian and xenophobic rhetoric.
Gabriel Teïva Richard-Molard
Federal delegate for European issues