What is the 'Frexit'

Frexit – short for "French exit" – is a French spinoff of the term Brexit, which emerged when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in June of 2016. Other countries with fringe parties that have similarly acknowledged the possibility of leaving the EU include the Netherlands (Nexit), Italy (Italeave) and Austria (Auxit or Oexit). The specific terms of referendum differ depending on each country's interests.

BREAKING DOWN 'Frexit'

Reasons for Leaving the European Union

While mainstream politics across the European Union tend to reject the notion of leaving the EU in order to stop internal immigration, fringe and extremist parties in various countries support this split. Following Brexit, these groups have increased their efforts toward a call to action, and have cited Brexit as the beginning of the fall of the European Union. In France, Marine Le Pen has been the voice of the Frexit movement since before it had a name, and she plans to push her agenda as leader of the Front National party in the 2017 presidential elections. 

French Politics

The current French president, François Hollande, falls in line with mainstream French politics and is in favor of France remaining in the European Union. Marine Le Pen leads the Front National, a far-right party, that is in favor of France leaving the European Union. Le Pen, who is running for president against Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon in 2017, has suggested that France could follow Britain's lead in leaving the European Union, and that this is the beginning of a movement. She is now pushing harder than ever to start a French movement. Although Le Pen is not expected to win the race, she is expected to reach the final round of the runoff, and Frexit is expected to be a major issue.

Global Consequences

Following Brexit, global stock markets plummeted. Standard and Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch downgraded the United Kingdom's credit rating, and the U.K.'s currency is at its lowest exchange rate in decades. Prime Minister David Cameron will be succeeded by Theresa May on July 13th, and an exit-agreement will be negotiated. Were Frexit to occur, similar financial and political repercussions would likely affect France and consequently influence international markets.

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