Independent Scotland could make common cause with Emmanuel Macron's France – Angus Robertson MSP
While many have voiced concerns that a far-right, anti-EU candidate achieved nearly 42 per cent of the vote in the election, it is also the case that Marine Le Pen tried to paint herself as a more moderate politician than before by pledging not to leave the European Union or the Euro.
Little time was spent laying out Priti Patel-style immigration plans. For obvious reasons, she made enormous efforts to diminish her close links with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and concentrated on the cost-of-living crisis.
Le Pen knew that, to stand any hope at all, she would need to reflect a French electorate more pro-European, anti-Putin and welfare-conscious than ever before.
This strategy meant the majority with which Mr Macron secured another five years at the Élysée Palace was diminished. But it is still crystal clear. As French EU affairs minister Clément Beaune noted, this is “excellent news for a strong France that is a leader in Europe”.
Indeed, in this post-Merkel era, Mr Macron is tasked with leading the EU’s 27 countries with renewed commitment to tackling the cost-of-living crisis through combined economic security; addressing international conflict with unified front; tackling climate change with collective strategy; and improving human rights with a consensus on values.
Scotland can look forward to joining and contributing to this partnership with France.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary