Brexit et Jungle de Calais – Mon interview sur Politics Home

J’ai eu l’occasion de m’entretenir la semaine dernière avec John Ashmore de Politics Home. Dans ce contexte de débat sur le référendum du Brexit au Royaume-Uni, j’ai pu discuter des effets d’une sortie de l’Union européenne ainsi que des perspectives de travail dans le pays pour les Français, mais aussi de la crise des migrants à Calais.

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The issue du jour is, of course, the EU referendum. For all the dire warnings that have punctuated the debate so far, Premat seems remarkably relaxed about the prospect of ‘Brexit’.

« I don’t say there will be a deluge, a disaster, I don’t know… there will be consequences in terms of the economy, re-orientation of policies and things like that, of course, because sometimes we don’t know. We are not aware that we live with some European regulations.

« But I’m not pessimistic, because in case you’re outside Europe then I can imagine that the EU will try to have the UK as a privileged partner, which is the status for some states, I would say, in Europe. »

He also stresses the importance of a calm, reasoned debate on the EU, rather than simply trading in exaggerated warnings.

« My personal point of view is you have a debate; it’s very important to have a real debate, a fair debate. Because if on both sides you put the blame by saying, ‘oh, no, no, if you quit Europe that will be a disaster’, then you cannot have a real, big debate that you need once in your lifetime. »

At the same time, he does not shy away from the possible effects on his constituents of a ‘Leave’ vote – some of them, he says are « afraid » they could lose their work permits.

« There are different concrete measures that could affect the French community here – the work, the residency, the economy.

« I was in Bristol in July. In Bristol we have a lot of co-operation with Toulouse about the Airbus and things like that… we might lose this kind of co-operation, so it has economic consequences. »

Perhaps unusually for a French socialist politician, Premat argues that his compatriots could learn something from the more flexible approach to the labour market in the UK. It is this flexibility, he says, that has encouraged hundreds of thousands of young French men and women to relocate to the UK.

« Sometimes it must be tough for young people to find their first professional experience, so they can come here and there are structures to help them get in the system.

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