11:22 GMT11 August 2020
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    France wants to use Brexit to weaken Britain and degrade the City of London, former UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said. In a memorandum leaked to the Daily Mail, Browne wrote that the talks he attended in Paris were the worst he had anywhere in the European Union. Sputnik Radio spoke with Peter Holmes on the issue.

    He stressed that the French are open about their desire to weaken the UK. 

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Peter Holmes, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Regional Integration at Sussex and a specialist in international economic integration.

    “I think in a sense he’s stating the obvious that if Britain chooses to cut itself out from the EU market others will try and take our business. The issue is that the UK seems to have decided to cut itself out of the market and the others are just doing the obvious to follow up,” Holmes said.

    He further said that the comments are probably designed for internal purposes in order to press the British government to have the city remain in some sense inside the single market.

    According to Holmes, Britain hasn’t really thought through the consequences of Brexit.

    Talking about the French, he said that it is doing what any other government would do.

    Further adding that the French would probably take the most mercantilist view of seeking their own export interest as a priority.

    He further spoke about how after the election of Emmanuel Macron, the French outlook on Britain has changed. 

    “He [Macron] represents a view which is natural on the part of the French, they’ve always resented the Britain’s attempt to have it both ways, but Britain always had, in fact, succeeded in having,” the analyst said.

    He added that Britain has been exempted from most of the regulations like keeping out of the Euro, avoid engaging with the Schengen.

    The analyst also said that the recent French election has given France a confidence boost and that their dislike of Brexit may make them support reversal of its policy.

    “I think the British have always exaggerated the extent to which there are people supporting the British point of view, maybe they could pick off one and play them off against the other,” Holmes said.

    He further said that it’s a particularly British perspective that the rest of the EU is fighting amongst themselves and would be willing to do deals with Britain.


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