City of London warns that France wants ‘hard Brexit’
France is pushing for a hard Brexit to lure financial firms away from the UK, the City of London’s envoy to the EU has claimed.
In a leaked memo, former Home Office minister Jeremy Browne warned ministers that he believed the French authorities were seeking to disrupt and weaken London’s status as a financial centre and saw the UK as “adversaries not partners”. The allegation came after he met banking chiefs, senior politicians and diplomats during talks held in Paris in July.
However, the French official tasked with making Paris a financial centre post-brexit dismissed the claims as “total nonsense.” Christian Noyer, former governor of the Bank of France, said: “France has the same position as the rest of the EU. There is no willingness to create problems for London or the UK.” He said it was inevitable, however, that some activities would move out of London for reasons of EU financial stability.
La Défense Financial District in Paris