The Executive Officer of Paris Europlace assesses the consequences of the Brexit for the European economy and explains how he wants to see governments respond.
Leaders League. What reaction do you anticipate on the part of governments following this decision by the British?
Arnaud de Bresson. First of all, I want to state that Paris Europlace was in favor of Britain staying in the European Union. Our immediate wish is that the French authorities respond quickly to this new situation by helping create a more integrated, competitive Europe, whose nations, faced with globalisation, are closer than ever to one another. Today, this is what France’s large companies expect. Secondly, what we want is for the European authorities to learn the lessons of the Brexit by sticking to the conditions laid out in European Treaties. From now on the United Kingdom must be considered a second tier European country. The advantages it benefitted from up to now in terms of access to European financial markets have to be reviewed. I am thinking in particular about the benefits of a European Union passport, which cannot be extended to a second tier European country.
Leaders League. What do you imagine the consequences will be for economic life and for companies?
A. de B. The UK has made a choice which, first and foremost, impacts its businesses. They will undoubtedly encounter considerable problems linked to the fluctuation of Sterling. Europe for its part will go on, relying on 27 members including stable economies like those of France and Germany.
In a way the European Union might even benefit from the Brexit, and see an influx of activities which up to now had been located in London.
Leaders League. Lastly, does the Brexit give Paris an opportunity to improve its position?
A. de B. Indeed it does. Paris has much to recommend it: the presence of large international companies, an asset management activity totalling 3,600 billion euros, a significant number of innovative start-ups…. For all these reasons, Paris has the ability to host more multi-nationals. This is why Paris Europlace is asking the authorities to improve the attractiveness of Paris as a destination, as far regulations and taxation are concerned in order to benefit from this window of opportunity.
Translated by Simon Mc Geady from the French article of Mathieu Marcinkiewicz