Awkward moment French businessman admits scale of Brexodus far smaller than EU hoped


The CEO of Paris Europlace was put on the spot about the disappointing result on France 24 on Thursday. Host Stephen Carroll explained: “It’s one of the many consequences of Brexit – a race by European cities to win what was thought to be tens of thousands of jobs that would leave London. But three years later the numbers estimated to move are much lower and fewer still have actually relocated.

“Three years ago we were full of optimism that there would be huge movement of companies and jobs out of London as a result of Brexit but we haven’t really seen that materialise.

“It’s a smaller move than we had originally expected – it seems that the numbers are closer to the hundreds than the thousands or tens of thousands.”

Begrudgingly Mr de Breton replied: “True, a little bit smaller.

“But more than hundreds – thousands.

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“We estimated now about 5,000 new jobs have been created in Paris due to Brexit.

“We estimate roughly one third which has already been implemented, that leaves two-thirds coming.”

Earlier this month the French Government launched a new scheme to lure in British business into opening up new headquarters in France. The “Join the game” campaign has included the creation of a website informing potential British investors on how to set up their companies in France.

Despite the apparent lack of success to attract companies into France, Mr de Bresson expressed uncertainty about the future relationship between the UK and the EU would push more businessmen to relocate.

The President’s centrist government last year stepped up efforts to attract London banks to Paris after Brexit from the bloc by introducing incentives such as tax breaks and pledging to cut labour costs and open more English language schools for bankers’ children.

In addition to banking and financial services, of which Britain is one of the prime global exporters, France has also shown signs of keenness to attract members of Britain’s £4.4 billion gaming community.

The French Directorate General for Enterprise, who have been leading the “Join the game” campaign said: “In only a few years, video games have become France’s second largest cultural industry, behind books and ahead of cinema.

“It is one of the most dynamic sectors in the French economy, with more than 5,000 direct jobs.”

According to latest estimates, France could lose around 141,320 jobs in the event of a no deal Brexit – a huge blow to President Macron as his popularity continues to plummet amid ongoing demonstrations from members of the Yellow Vest movement.


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