France goes to the polls on Sunday April 23 in the first round of its presidential election.
Four candidates are neck-and-neck in the latest polls, and any combination of Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Francois Fillon could progress to the final vote in two weeks time.
The election thus far has been the most unconventional and unpredictable in France’s history. But what will the result mean for the UK and Brexit?
What would Marine Le Pen mean for Brexit?
The National Front leader has said that she would be an ally to Britain in Brexit negotiations if she becomes the next French president.
Speaking to Nigel Farage on LBC, she said: “There is no reason not to take the British decision in our stride and work with Great Britain in negotiations that will take place between two nations that have had long-standing trade relations for centuries."
She attacked the “forceful” EU stance which she says is “imposed” by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I see no reason why France and Great Britain should not have excellent relations,” she said.
Marine Le Pen has said that she would be an ally to Britain as president
“We are old allies and economically speaking as well, we have a great many exchanges to implement.
“What I cannot stand in the behaviour of the EU with regards to Great Britain is blackmail, constant threat. This structure is no longer moving without blackmail and threat.”
Ms Le Pen has often praised Britain’s decision to leave the EU and has vowed to give France a similar referendum on EU membership.
“It’s really great what they’ve done in the UK,” she said during a televised leaders’ debate last month. “The results in Great Britain are formidable. Their growth is double our growth.”
French election 2017: Who are the candidates?
Fri, April 21, 2017
Eleven candidates have joined the race for the French presidency, and the campaign is now in its final days ahead of the election on 23 April
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Jean-Luc Mélenchon is another anti-EU politician
What would Jean-Luc Mélenchon mean for Brexit?
Mr Mélenchon has called Brexit “the beginning of the end of an era” and “an earthquake for the EU as we know it”.
Although he is on the opposite side of the political spectrum to Ms Le Pen, Mr Mélenchon shares his rival’s anti-EU stance and has also promised a referendum.
The left-wing radical has described the EU as an ”open-air prison”, and has called on Brussels to allow the UK to leave “without vengeance or punishment”.
Like Ms Le Pen, Mr Mélenchon opposes free trade, which could prove troublesome when it comes to striking a new trade deal.
Emmanuel Macron has dubbed Brexit a 'crime'
What would Emmanuel Macron mean for Brexit?
The former Finance Minister is a strong supporter of the EU and has made no secret of his dislike of Brexit.
In his election manifesto Mr Macron decried Brexit as a “crime” which will leave the UK facing “servitude”.
He is in favour of a hard Brexit that would leave the EU outside of the single market, and has stressed the importance of “defending the integrity” of the EU’s intertwined freedoms of movement and trade.
Negotiations would undoubtedly be tougher with Mr Macron at the table, as he has already warned that there can be no “caveat or waiver” to the EU’s “unbreakable” position of serving its own interests first.
Francois Fillon wants British banks to lose their passporting rights
What would Francois Fillon mean for Brexit?
Mr Fillon has bounced back from scandal and is back in the running to become the next French president.
He is in favour of a hard and fast Brexit and has called on Brussels to leave the UK without its European financial passport, which allows UK-based banks to operate on the continent.
Such a move would force banks to move their European operations from London, taking thousands of jobs with them.