French presidency

Emmanuel Macron last night vowed to ‘defend Europe’ minutes after becoming France‘s youngest leader since Napoleon. Macron, 39, beat far-right National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen, 48, in an election that will have widespread repercussions for the future of Europe. He has previously stated he will not give Britain an easy Brexit deal and even branded the UK’s departure from the EU ‘a crime’.  With 99.99 percent of ballots counted by this morning, Macron had 66.06 percent of the vote in the first ever election he has contested, far ahead of Le Pen at 33.94 percent. Turnout was 74.62 percent. But in a sign of widespread disillusionment, one in three voters abstained or cast a blank ballot. Just 15 minutes after the exit polls were announced, Le Pen conceded and revealed she phoned Macron to ‘congratulate’ him on his election victory. Later in the evening, Macron addressed thousands of his adoring supporters who had gathered at his election victory rally outside the Louvre in central Paris.

Emmanuel Macron has said a “new page of our history” has opened after he defeated far-right populist Marine Le Pen to become France’s new president. Voters delivered a resounding victory for the pro-European former investment banker, and he immediately vowed to “defend France and Europe”. A crowd of Macron supporters roared with delight, jubilantly waving red, white and blue tricolour flags at a victory party outside the Louvre Museum in Paris. The 39-year-old saw off competition from the far right candidate Marine Le Pen who polled just 34.5 per cent. Ms Le Pen said she had called the 39-year-old to concede defeat after voters rejected her “French-first” nationalism by a large margin.

Emmanuel Macron was elected France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon last night after beating his far-Right rival Marine Le Pen in an 
emphatic result that will have far-reaching consequences for Brexit and Europe. 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.

PRO-EU Emmanuel Macron’s election victory could have serious implications for Brexit Britain as he appeared in front of supporters to the EU anthem rather than the French. The 39-year-old was declared the victor in the vote yesterday after his rival Marine Le Pen conceded defeat. And in a nod to his pro-EU stance, the victorious Macron appeared in front of supporters in Paris to the sound of EU anthem Ode To Joy – rather than iconic French anthem La Marseillaise. Downing Street said Theresa May “warmly congratulated” the En Marche movement leader for his election victory. But behind the pleasantries, there will be serious concern in Whitehall as the UK enters two tough years of Brexit negotiations. Le Pen had praised Britain’s decision to leave the EU and even suggested she would hold a Frexit referendum to take France out of the organisation if she became president.

EX-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has bemoaned centrist Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential elections, saying it amounts to “five more years of failure” for the nation. Farage, who had backed Marine Le Pen’s bid for presidency, said Macron’s election will also lead to “more power to the EU and a continuation of open borders”. He said: “Macron offers five more years of failure, more power to the EU and a continuation of open borders. “If Marine sticks in there, she can win in 2022.” Before the first results were announced, Farage had described Le Pen as the “real deal”. “She is a proper, genuine Eurosceptic and under her the French National Front is not about race but it is about sovereignty,” he told ITV’s Peston on Sunday.


ITV News
The Conservatives’ commitment to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands” is expected to form part of the party’s General Election manifesto. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday she wanted to “continue to bring immigration down” but stopped short of guaranteeing that David Cameron’s controversial target would be repeated. Last month the Prime Minister restated her hope to cut annual net migration – the difference between the number of people coming into the country and people leaving – to a “sustainable” level in the tens of thousands. Theresa May’s commitment will be included in the party’s 2017 manifesto, due to be released in the next few weeks, the Press Association reported.

Paul Nuttall will push for a UKIP recovery on the back of a new pledge of a ‘one in, one out’ migration policy that would see the UK’s net migration go down from around 300,000 to 0 per year. The call for ‘balanced migration’ would be a drastic departure from the hundreds of thousands net migration seen under the mass migration policy of both Labour the Conservatives. UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall is expected to say that: “Balanced migration, that is net migration of zero, will still mean roughly 300,000 talented people can come to Britain in a typical year. That is a rational approach to immigration rather than the uncontrolled mass immigration we have seen under Labour and the Tories.”

The failure of the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to answer simple questions on immigration today shows that the Tories are “completely at sea”, says John Bickley, the UKIP immigration spokesman. Bickley who will be launching the UKIP immigration policy tomorrow attacked Rudd after she repeatedly failed to commit to the long standing Tory policy of tens of thousands net immigration figures per year. “They are lost”, said Bickley, “They know that last year’s referendum result was driven in a large part by our country’s desire to take back control of immigration, but there is no will in the Tory party to deliver this. Either they maintain their policy created by Theresa May of tens of thousands, a promise they have failed to deliver in seven years, or they drop it and admit that they have no intention to deliver what the country demands. 


It is time for both sides in the Brexit crisis to calm down, according to EU officials. But after a week in which relations between Britain and its closest international partners have deteriorated further, fears are growing that the political holdalls once wielded by Margaret Thatcher in her fights with Brussels may be battered beyond repair. Even by the standards of past standoffs, the feud over how Britain will end its 44-year membership of the European club has spiralled out of control at breakneck speed. Since Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election to strengthen her negotiating mandate, critics in Brussels have raced to correct what they see as her misplaced confidence.

Theresa May is “battling for Britain” against EU bureaucrats who want to damage the Conservative election campaign, Jeremy Hunt has said. The health secretary intensified the rhetoric against Brussels after the fallout from the prime minister’s dinner with Jean-Claude Juncker. Mr Hunt reiterated the prime minister’s claim that European officials were trying to meddle with the outcome of the poll on June 8. “The choice that people face is, do they want a strong Theresa May doing those difficult negotiations? There are 27 countries lined up against us. Some of them appear to think that for the EU to survive Britain must fail,” he told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

MORE THAN 20 ‘Remain’ MPs face defeat in the General Election from a ‘Brexit Alliance’ of Tory and UKIP voters, the Sun can reveal. An expert pollster claims last week’s stunning local election results mean a third of the Labour and Lib Dems who voted against Brexit in the Commons could now lost their seats on June 8. Politics professor Matthew Goodwin said a repeat of last week’s 7 per cent swing to the Tories leaves 21 ‘Remainers at Risk’. Under the dramatic power shift, the Tories could win in Newcastle upon Lyme, Ealing, west London, Cardiff and York. It would see the Conservatives unseat Labour’s Paul Farrelly and Mary Creagh who both serve in constituencies where 62 per cent of voters backed ‘Leave’. Mr Goodwin added that two Lib Dem seats – Southport and Carshalton – could also turn ‘Blue’.


ANGELA Merkel’s Christian Democrats took a firm step towards being re-elected when the national vote takes place later this year after they won a decisive regional victory. The CDU took 33 percent of the vote in Schleswig-Holstein, up from 30.8 per cent in the last election there in 2012, an exit poll for broadcaster ARD showed. The Social Democrats won 26 percent, down from 30.4 per cent. 
While the result means that the conservatives, under Mrs Merkel, cannot govern in the region alone it does mean that the Social Democrats (SPD), lead by Martin Schulz, cannot continue to govern in coalition with the Green and the South Schleswig Party (SSW), which represents the ethnic Danish minority.

Fox News
Tuesday is Europe Day, and this year European Union leaders got to unwrap their present a bit early. French voters elected as president Emmanuel Macron, whose platform espouses a stronger EU and a tough line in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the bloc. Perhaps just as important, they rejected far-right contender Marine Le Pen, whose EU bashing knows few bounds. But if champagne corks are popping in Brussels, beware of the hangover: Brexit negotiations could go horribly wrong. Italian elections could see an anti-euro movement become the biggest party. Greek finances could wreck the value of the shared European currency. Despite overwhelming support for Macron across the continent, the new French leader remains a political novice, untried and untested on European issues. And even as he celebrates European unity, he has argued that the bloc needs a fundamental retooling.


British street artist Banksy has taken on Brexit with a mural of a workman chipping away one of the 12 gold stars on the flag of the European Union on a wall in Dover, the ferry port that connects England with Calais in France. Banksy, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, posted pictures of the work, which appeared overnight, on his official Instagram feed on Sunday, the day of the French presidential election. His representative also confirmed it was by Banksy. Dover and its white cliffs, which are seen by many people arriving in and departing from Britain every year, have loomed large in media coverage of Brexit. The Sun newspaper, which campaigned for “leave”, projected the message “Dover & out” on the cliffs on March 24, the day that British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the start of Britain’s exit from the EU.


The coal sector benefits from £356m a year in subsidies in the UK, despite the Government’s pledge to phase out use of the highly polluting fossil fuel, a report suggests. The multimillion-pound support is part of £5.3bn (€6.3bn) given to the coal industry every year by 10 European countries, which account for 84 per cent of the continent’s carbon dioxide emissions, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said. In a new report, the international development think tank rated the UK poor on transparency and on phasing out subsidies for coal mining and coal-fired power. The Government has said it will not undertake a fossil fuel subsidy peer review under a process by the G20 leading nations, because it denies the country provides any fossil fuel subsidies, the report said. But the UK mining sector has various tax benefits and there is reduced VAT on fuel, including electricity from coal, the report said.

Secret bunker

A SECRET underground city for government figures to bunker down in if nuclear war broke out is still deep under British countryside – with more than 60 miles of subterranean roads, a lake and a bakery. The huge complex could have held 4,000 people in complete isolation for up to three months if atomic bombs hit with electric buggies for transport and its own telephone switchboard. The site, code named Burlington, lies 100 feet beneath Corsham in Wiltshire, and was designed to be the site of emergency government war headquarters in the event of the Cold War. It was built in the late 1950s and includes hospitals, canteens, kitchens and laundries, as well as offices and accommodation. The enormous bunker was developed in a 240-acre abandoned quarry and could have housed the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, the government and even the Royal Family.

Ice age

A GLOBAL cool down will “march in with vengeance” to usher in a 100-year mini-ice age that could freeze over the River Thames, climate scientists told Daily Star Online. Experts told Daily Star Online planet Earth is on course for a “Little Age Ice” within the next three years thanks to a cocktail of climate change and low solar activity. Research shows a natural cooling cycle that occurs every 230 years began in 2014 and will send temperatures plummeting even further by 2019. Scientists are also expecting a “huge reduction” in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053 that will cause thermometers to crash. Both cycles suggest Earth is entering a global cooling cycle that could have devastating consequences for global economy, human life and society as we know it. If predictions of the world-wide big freeze come true, the plot to 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow would not be far from reality during winter. 

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