Emmanuel Macron’s wife Brigitte addresses French 2022 elections
During the trade negotiations between London and Brussels, President Emmanuel Macron took a particularly tough line in a bid to please French fishermen. Diverging from the less panicked tone struck by fellow European leaders, Mr Macron went as far as to threaten to veto any deal which the EU made too many compromises.
But despite his fierce opposition at every stage of the Brexit process, it appears the UK’s departure from the bloc has already benefitted France.
Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Bank of France, said some 2,500 jobs have been created as a result of Brexit.
Assets worth €170billion (£151billion) have shifted from UK to France.
Britain left the EU in January 2020 but remained in a transition period until December 31.
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The Brexit benefits have been a welcome boost for France, which is among the worst-affected nations in Europe in terms of Covid cases and fatalities.
Lockdowns have dealt serious blows to the economy ahead of the presidential election in 2022.
Mr Villeroy de Galhau told a press conference: “In spite of the pandemic, almost 2,500 jobs have already been transferred and around 50 British entities have authorised the relocation of at least €170billion in assets to France at the end of 2020.”
And he said the French economy was set to be benefit further from Brexit over the coming months.
He added: “Other relocations are expected and should increase over the course of this year.”
Mr Villeroy de Galhau said Brexit has forced Europe to develop its financial autonomy.
The positive effects of Brexit come after Mr Macron said the UK’s exit from the club of nations was the result of “lies and false promises”.
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In his New Year’s message to his fellow countrymen and women, he questioned the idea that Britain could strengthen its sovereignty by leaving the bloc.
He said: “This choice of leaving Europe, this Brexit, was the child of European malaise and lots of lies and false promises.”
One unwelcome aspect of Brexit for Mr Macron has been the momentum gained by the Frexit movement in recent months.
The young president is coming under pressure to call a referendum on France’s membership of the EU.
A political movement named Generation Frexit has ramped up its calls for a public vote on the issue in light of Brexit.
The group’s President Charles-Henri Gallois said in a recent video interview: “Having 27 countries with divergent interests on just about every subject and wanting to come up with a common position weakens the position of each country.
“An independent country, sure of its strength, defends itself much better.”
He suggested a vote on Italy’s membership of the club was also on the horizon.
He added: “Brexit is the first stone that will bring Frexit, Italexit.”
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