Emmanuel Macron admitted to the BBC on Sunday that if France held a referendum on membership of the EU, French people would overwhelmingly vote to leave.
In a stunningly candid interview on the Andrew Marr show, the French president conceded that French voters are sick of the European Union, and would quit if France held an in/out referendum.
No other European Union country has risked putting membership of the bloc to a public vote since Britain surprised member-states by voting to leave the bloc in 2016.
However, speaking to Andrew Marr on the BBC, Mr Macron admitted that he would lose a French referendum on EU membership.
Asked about the Brexit vote, the candid president told Marr: “I am not the one to judge or comment on the decision of your people.
“But, my interpretation is that a lot of the losers of globalisation suddenly decided it was no more for them.”
Marr then pushed the French president, regarded by many as the EU’s new leader, on whether Britain’s decision was a one-off.
The BBC journalist asked: “If France had had the same referendum, it might have had the same result?”
Macron responded: “Yes, probably, probably. Yes. In a similar context. But we have a very different context in France.”
He added: “I wouldn’t take any bet though – I would have fought very hard to win.
“My understanding is that middle classes and working classes and the oldest decided that the recent decades were not in their favour, and the adjustments made by the EU were not in their favour.
“I think the organisation of EU went too far with freedom without cohesion, free markets without rules.”
The French leader hit out at David Cameron for holding a referendum with a simple yes / no response on membership, instead of asking how to improve the situation.
Twitter lit up after the interview was aired, with many questioning if the French leader had just admitted that he “does not listen to his own people” since he has refused to hold a referendum on the EU.