Gilets Jaunes founder warns Frexit could cause 'domino effect'

20 February 2020, 16:10

Yellow vest protesters on the streets of Paris
Yellow vest protesters on the streets of Paris. Picture: PA

By Megan White

One of the founders of France’s Gilets Jaunes movement has said she is “not afraid” of the idea of Frexit, but it would be “like a domino effect” if the country left the EU.

Priscillia Ludosky prompted the birth of the Yellow Vest protests in 2018 when she published an online petition about the need for lower taxes on essential goods in France.

The petition, started with Eric Drouet and Maxime Nicolle, also called for a lower pensions for senior officials, and was signed by almost 1.2 million people, sparking riots on the streets of France.

In an exclusive interview with LBC’s Tom Swarbrick, Ms Ludosky discussed the possibility of France leaving the EU and the importance of the British government respecting the result of the Brexit referendum.

Priscillia Ludosky helped found the Gilets Jaunes in 2018
Priscillia Ludosky helped found the Gilets Jaunes in 2018. Picture: PA

Asked if the Gilet Jaune movement felt motivated by Brexit, she said: “I don’t know if people are ready for it, but I know it’s a big subject in the bigger family of Yellow Vests.

“It’s difficult to say if people want that or not, if they’re saying that Frexit could be a solution, but I think it’s a debate that the government doesn’t want us to have, but it’s deeply debated in the Assembly.

“Personally I’m not afraid of it, I think if a big country such as France asked for Frexit, it would be like a domino effect, maybe I’m not right, but maybe it’s a domino effect and maybe Spain would go.

“I think the European Treaty should be updated, I don’t know if it’s a solution to leave but I think it’s necessary to give the possibility for more power over our own country and to review the treaty.”

When asked what she thought would happen if Britain had remained in the EU despite the leave vote winning the referendum, Ms Ludosky said: “I think the fact Brexit was done is an occasion to see.

“On one side, you have France who are the big social movements, wanted to change that representative democracy, and on the other side you have Brexit.

“I think both will have lessons to be learned about that experience.”

She said she “wasn’t celebrating” Brexit, but said it proved democracy did work.

Ms Ludosky added: “In France, the last referendum [against the European Constitution] wasn’t listened to, so yes, when the people are listened to, it’s important to be respected.

“It’s the first step in participative democracy.”

Listen to the full interview on Tom Swarbrick’s Rule Britannia podcast, out Friday.