She traveled Thursday the Cotentin, meeting the fishermen, breeders and elected Norman, increasingly concerned about the consequences of a possible "hard Brexit", a divorce without agreement between the United Kingdom and the Union European. The Minister of European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, willingly accepts that Release accompany him in this move. But she puts a condition: that we go "especially not", We, too, say that she behaves like the pro-European candidate who will lead the majority list for the May 26 poll. Subject of intense speculation, the name of this head of list should be unveiled at the end of the month. And it is true that for several weeks, the ubiquitous Loiseau, on the ground as in the media, has the appearance of ideal candidate.
"But no !" she protests for the umpteenth time, installed in the Renault black of his Norman roaming. She really does not want to let go of her ministry, she says: "I like pushing projects, getting things done. I feasted with Muriel Pénicaud, when we fought for the agreement on posted workers. " She even seems to enjoy the inextricable Brexit who has been part-time for almost two years. This morning again, en route to Cherbourg (Manche), she had on the phone several of her European counterparts. She has spoken in recent days with many Britons scared of the vagaries of their government: London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and several Labor MPs. She «Love» his job at the Quai d'Orsay and seems very sincerely not wanting to change.
In the majority, however, there are many who persist in pushing for candidacy. At the LREM campaign headquarters as at the Elysée, we see that with his fighting spirit and his credibility on European issues, she ticks all the boxes at the top of the list macroniste. "But that I know the records of my department is all the same things"she defends herself again. From his colleague Agnès Buzyn, Minister of Health, woman "Formidable" for whom she has "A lot of esteem and friendship," she says on the other hand she would do "A very beautiful headliner, if she feels like it". All the Macronists involved in the preparation of the European campaign do not share this enthusiasm. The former daughter-in-law of Simone Veil has not, so far, demonstrated a great appetite for European subjects. While awaiting the verdict of Emmanuel Macron, Nathalie Loiseau will have to endure for a few weeks the flattering and cumbersome pressure of his political friends. This continues until La Pernelle, a small village on the coast where she lunch with local officials and fishermen, overlooking the beautiful bay of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue. A beautiful place to talk about the English and their Brexit: it is here that landed, in 1346, the troops of King Edward III, marking the beginning of the Hundred Years War.
Loiseau came to speak of another war, which she is waging to try to mitigate the effects of Brexit, "Absurd decision that we must respect". Whatever happens, she explains to the Normans, "Today will be worse than yesterday". Such, she insists, is the consequence of these referenda for which she does not hide her aversion: "The British were able to say what they did not want anymore, but they do not know what they want to put in their place."Cash, brutal limit, Loiseau hints at all the harm she thinks of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, who made the mistake of not doing "the political work of explanation before the Parliament ".
Elected from the Channel, the young MP LREM Sonia Krimi finds that the minister would "A good head of the list". "We arrived together in 2017, she in the government, me in Parliament. I saw her grow up. She is not techno at all. She is able to put slaps with a big smile and a lot of elegance, if she packs. His slaps, Loiseau distributes them first – and very generously – to Marine Le Pen who "Say anything" and tells "A lie every day". The boss of the RN begins to be moved. "It's good, Nathalie … We understood that you wanted to top the European list, do not do too much anyway!" she said on Twitter last Sunday. "We do not know each other, I do not know why she knows me," the minister, who takes the opportunity to break her last punchlines, looks astonished. The pen ? "It's not the National Gathering, it's the National Division," she did not "Only rejection and not projects".
"I love to play politics, to answer opponents, not to be afraid of getting bawled," She says. In his entourage, it is also noted that they are not "Not so many, in government, go to the fire." In Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, between two oysters of the famous oyster basin – "It's still something other than American oysters washed with chlorinated water" – Nathalie Loiseau explains why her "exciting" Ministry of European Affairs shelters it from any disconnection of the ground. "Last year, I made 50 trips abroad and as much in France. And I have to work with all my colleagues in the government, she says under the approving eye of the former Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert, MP LREM of the Channel. Other elected Norman, Senator LR Philippe Bas, grand inquisitor of the Benalla affair, and MP LR Philippe Gosselin participate in the conversation and tasting. It is that they both hold to honor the reputation of this department "Violently moderate".
The young oyster farmer from Saint-Vaast Xavier Hélie explains that he successfully sets out to conquer the Chinese market, where his oysters are sold for up to 5 euros in restaurants. But he is worried about his trade with Ireland. "It will be necessary to develop the direct maritime connections between Ireland and Normandy", the minister answers. At the next stage, the fisheries committee boss testifies to "Big anxiety" on the port of Cherbourg. For generations, ships have made more than half of their turnover along the English coast. If the "hard Brexit" forbids them access from March 29, "It will become unmanageable." Faced with a meeting of sailors almost exclusively male, Loiseau recognizes that she can not reassure them completely, "Because it's hard to do something smart with a stupid measure". She recalled that the Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has obtained that in the negotiations on future relations, the agreement on fisheries would be a priority. But while waiting for this agreement, there could be, after March 29, "Complicated weeks". This "Language of truth" should be required, in its opinion, so that fishermen can, where appropriate, "to take decisions". About decisions, on the road back to Paris, one tries for the last time the question that annoys: "And if Emmanuel Macron still ended up asking you to drive the list for the European elections?" "Oops! I think we'll go through a tunnel, " She joked.
Alain Auffray photo Albert Facelly