French candidate Macron wants UK 'talents' after Brexit

2017-02-22 07:24
(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek, AFP)

(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek, AFP)

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London - French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he wanted London bankers and academics to move to France after Brexit, following a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I want banks, talents, academics, researchers and so on," Macron said after hastily-arranged talks with May at Downing Street ahead of a campaign speech in London to drum up support among the city's large community of French expat voters.

"It will be part of my programme to be attractive for these kinds of people," the former economy minister and ex-investment banker said.

He added he wanted to tell expats living in Britain that "France is changing.

"In the coming years, they'll have a lot of opportunities to come back to France and succeed in France."

Divide France

The centrist candidate, who created his own En Marche! (On the Move!) party, also slammed his far-right rival, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, accusing her of wanting to "divide France into non-Muslim people and Muslim people".

Her "programme is one to push France into the 19th century," he added.

Opinion polls suggest Le Pen would win the first round of France's presidential election in April, but lose in the run-off to Macron on May 7.

Britain is home to an estimated 300 000-plus French expats - largely based in the capital.

Conservative leader May promised a close post-Brexit relationship with France on security and defence.
Read more on:    emmanuel macron  |  theresa may  |  uk  |  france  |  brexit  |  elections

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