New anti-Brexit party to be launched in UK with help from France

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A new political party inspired by Emmanuel Macron's En Marche movement and supported by some of his French MPs is being launched in the UK. Its aim is to reverse Brexit.

The launch of the new movement called Renew has been kept under wraps in the UK, but word has got out in France where MPs from Macron's En Marche party have been offering advice and support.

Renew will officially be launched next week, according to France Info radio, but the movement already has its own website at www.renewBritain.org.

On the site Renew spells out its three priorities: renew the economy, reduce inequality and reverse Brexit and carries the slogan "People from outside politics to renew Britain's hope."

French MP Amélie de Montchalin, a member of Macron's La République En Marche party, is one of those that has been helping Renew.

"One year ago France was like the UK and the US, looking for hope because it was feeling in despair. I think today in Britain you can look at the future with hope and I think Renew is a movement you can embrace," said Montchalin in a video.

A meeting was held at the weekend in London, where the names of 222 future election candidates were announced. Representatives of Macron's party were at the meeting to give advice on the tactics needed to successfully launch a new party int mainstream politics.

Like with En Marche, Renew hopes to attract people from civil society who have never been involved in politics before.

"Four months ago I was an economist working for a financial company in Paris, now I am a member of the French parliament. If this happened in France it can happen in Britain too," said MP de Monchalin.

Renew's founders believe they can emulate the success of the pro-EU Emmanuel Macron who formed his own En Marche (On the Move) movement just a year before he swept to power in the 2017 presidential elections.

Three months later En Marche, which by that point had changed its name to La Republique En Marche, defied the odds and the experts to win a clear majority in the French parliament.

"We are following the exact example of you Mr Macron," a person described as "a French founder of the party" told France Info.

One of Macron's first moves after founding his movement in April 2016 was to send members of En Marche out around France to ask the public what was wrong with the country and what they would change.

Renew plans to do the same in Britain.

"In France the first question was 'what's going wrong in France?'. We will do the same here," said the member.

Sandra Khadouri, named as a "spokesperson" for the new party said they want to listen to those who voted for Brexit.

"I think we need to talk to the underprivileged," Khadouri told France Info."We need to go see these people and ask them why they are angry," she said.

"The EU referendum was a wake-up call that the UK is a nation divided, with mass discontent at inequality, national identity and regional, social and generational differences," said Khadhouri.

The party has not yet named a leader but more will be revealed at the official launch.

Britons in France who still deeply regret the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016 will be no doubt watch Renew's launch closely hoping they can match Macron's stunning success on the other side of the English Channel.

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