The EU “undeniably” intends to punish Britain over Brexit and the bloc wants the split to be “as painful as possible”, far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said.
The National Front leader, who is standing on a fiercely anti-Brussels ticket, said European leaders could “feel” other members want to break away and want to avoid a “domino effect”.
However, speaking to BBC’s Newsnight, Ms Le Pen said she expected Britain to ultimately secure a good deal during negotiations to leave the EU, which formally begin today.
Asked if the UK will be punished for triggering Article 50, she said: “That’s undeniably the intention of the EU. The EU wants the divorce to be as painful as possible. That’s simply because they can feel that other nations of Europe want to leave this political structure.
“They don’t want a domino effect. Blackmail didn’t work, project fear didn’t work either. So they have to try to make the separation as painful as possible. Will they succeed? I don’t think so.”
Ms Le Pen said Britain’s position will be favourable after leaving the EU as it will be able to protect itself from “uncontrolled globalisation”.