The French government plans to capitalise on Brexit by taking business away from the City of London, with “French representatives crashing around London” offering big sums of money to firms to move to Paris, according to a secret memo seen by The Mail on Sunday.
The memo, sent to the treasury and MPs by former Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne, warned that the French “are crystal clear about their underlying objective: the weakening of Britain, the on-going degradation of the City of London.”
He added: “The meeting with the French Central Bank was the worst I have had anywhere in the EU. They are in favour of the hardest Brexit. They want disruption. They actively seek disaggregation of financial services provision.”
But the hostile actions of France have not only discomforted the British government, Browne says “there is plenty of anxiety elsewhere in the EU about the French throwing their weight around so aggressively, but their destructive impulses are not being confined”.
President Macron is suspected of being behind the aggressive tone. When Mr Macron visited Britain shortly before winning the presidential election, he called for “talented people in research, in a lot of fields to come to France.”
The president also raised eyebrows in Whitehall when he made Bruno Le Maire his finance minister. Le Maire had previously said Brexit provided “a fabulous opportunity for France”.
The striking memo goes on to say Macron’s France sees Britain “as adversaries, not partners” after Brexit.