French President-elect Emmanuel Macron expected to be tough on Brexit, while eyeing City jobs and London's euro clearing crown

William Turvill
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Emmanuel Macron Visits Berlin
Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election (Source: Getty)

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron is expected to be “tough” on the UK in Brexit negotiations and enhance the Paris bid for City jobs.

Macron could also be bad news for London’s bid to keep hold of its treasured euro clearing market, having previously indicated he had his eye on the business.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, economic adviser to Macron, today said the President-elect would not seek to “punish” the UK, adding that both sides would benefit from maintaining economic ties.

Read more: May: I want an "equal" mandate to Macron for Brexit talks

But he told the BBC: “At the same time, we have divergent interests on some aspects of the negotiations. So there will be a tough negotiation and he will be tough.”

Meanwhile, Arnaud de Bresson, the chief executive of lobbying group Paris Europlace, said Macron would boost efforts to attract financial services firms to the French capital. He estimated that France could attract 20,000 workers from the UK.

“Macron’s win is a sign that France is on the road to implement more structural reforms that are needed,” he told Reuters.

Read more: Emmanuel Macron wins French Presidential election

“Macron will personally make it his mission to convince the international banks as well as investors of the benefits of Paris.”

Nicholas Brooks, head of economic and investment research at Intermediate Capital Group, suggested there are limits to what Macron can achieve.

“It has been suggested that Emmanuel Macron will make a concerted effort to lure financial services companies and personnel to Paris, but he will be constrained by both labour laws in France and infrastructure constraints in Paris,” he said. “He will push to make Paris more attractive but there are limits on how far he can take that plan and London remains Europe's leading financial centre.”

On clearing, Bloomberg reported shortly after the Brexit vote that Macron wanted to take euro clearing business from the UK and move it to Paris.

“On clearing, we will have a full discussion on a series of issues,” he said. “We have many more players now in Paris than in Frankfurt, and a much deeper market place.”

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