France's Le Pen: British referendum should inspire others to leave EU

British citizens should vote "leave" in June's referendum on whether to remain in or leave the European Union and inspire their European peers to "flee" the bloc, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Tuesday.

In an interview with the Italian paper Libero, the leader of the National Front said she hoped that the British "will have the chance to open a path through which I hope other European people will flee" from the EU, which she called a "jail."

Le Pen also said moves to secure national borders within the EU, sacrificing the bloc's passport-free Schengen area, were justified.

"Controlling our borders is vital if we want to fight effectively against massive influxes of migrants, among whom Islamic terrorists who cover our countries in blood also infiltrate," she said.

The migration problem "should not be assessed in religious terms," she insisted, but European politicians should "say that we do not have the means to welcome these human multitudes, which are a source of social, economic and security tensions."

Le Pen said mosques built in Europe with funds from Qatar and Saudi Arabia "are a clear threat to our national security" and shrugged off being called a populist.

"If being a populist means being close to workers, pensioners, millions of unemployed and highly educated young people who cannot get by, then yes, I am a populist," she said.

British voters decide on EU membership in a referendum on June 23.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
Author: 

More from Europe

Mattarella looking to usher in functioning Italian government quickly

Following crisis talks in Rome on Saturday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said he will be taking steps soon to...

Austria to veto further EU accession talks with Turkey

Austria will block the continuation of EU talks with Ankara over Turkey's future membership in the bloc, Austrian...

Diplomats call for ceasefire in Aleppo at Paris meet

Foreign ministry officials from the West and the Middle East meeting in Paris Saturday for talks on Syria have...

French government seeks to extend state of emergency to July 2017

The French government said Saturday it would ask parliament to approve an extension to the country's state of...

No agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine on gas deliveries

Russian and Ukrainian officials failed to reach an agreement on gas deliveries this winter in a first round of EU-...