by WorldTribune Staff, January 21, 2018
France likely would have followed the UK’s lead and voted to leave the European Union if a referendum were held, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Asked during an interview with the BBC if France would have backed “Frexit” if given the chance, Macron said “Probably, in a similar context. But our context was very different. I definitely would have fought very hard to win – but I think it is a mistake if you just ask ‘yes or no.’ ”
Macron added that he would not want to place “a bet” on the outcome if France were to hold a referendum on leaving the EU.
“You always take a risk when you ask in a referendum yes or no on a very complicated subject,” he said.
Macron, who said he opposes an “in/out” choice, also admitted he is trying to capitalize on Brexit by luring businesses away from London and to Paris.
“Sure we want to attract maximum activity, why? Because this decision has an impact for a lot of players,” Macron told the BBC.
Following Brexit, Macron said several European financial centers, including Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt have sought to attract London businesses. “As a result of the EU referendum they will have to choose between the different cities, so there is a competition between the different cities.”
Macron told the BBC that the UK’s financial services sector will not be able to get full access to the single market without paying into the EU’s budget.