Brexit would turn UK into minor trading post: French minister


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These eurosceptics or the vast unelected eurocrats are scaremongering, they are petrified of the UK leaving the block, because it might have an effect on the whole 28 member block. What was initially a good idea has been destroyed by the eurocrats themselves. They have become hated by the citizens of Europe, its the political elite trying to protect themselves, does anyone really believe that the UK will implode on itself, seems the citizens of the UK think not. How can you call a united Europe a democracy when its run by unelected faceless bureaucrats, hell bent on taking the sovereignty away from all those 28 member states. The UK will survive, and prosper, never right the UK off.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Not sure that's the sort of comment the Remain camp wants to be seeing from the Frenchman.

I don't have a lot of dealings with the UK but I'm hardly likely to have less just because they decide to skip the EU. The things that are good about the UK aren't due to being an EU member so far as I can tell.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And here I was told it was the Brexit folks doing all the fear-mongering.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mr. Frenchie should list the benefits of staying.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"does anyone really believe that the UK will implode on itself"?

Nope, no one in europe believes the UK would be on their knees should they decide to leave the EU. They don't need europe to survive or even thrive the same way continental europe does not need the brits to prosper. The EU thing is or at least should be, more about building something together, tackling problems (such as immigration) together, sharing successes and failures.

Perso I have no problem with the UK leaving. I just wonder if its 'that' wise to have/ create a competitor on your doorstep when you can have them on your side. Probably more exciting to achieve things on your own but also slightly more risky.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with fxgai that most of what makes Britain great is not due to its being in the EU, but they are definitely going to suffer if they leave, and likely for the long haul. Taxes will go up immediately and the economy shrink -- it might be fear-mongering, but it will be true. The part about the trading is questionable; things that still come out of Britain will still come out of Britain, but if they depend a lot on the EU now for free trade it's going to be a crunch there as well by turning a partner into a rival. Beyond that, not sure what huge effects there would be. There's also a lot of fear from the EU of Britain leaving.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Comments/Statements from the Former Italian prime minister Mario Monti get right up my hooter.

Democracy, in this instance the British electorate will have a once in a lifetime opportunity that could affect the lives of many others. The families and livelihoods of twenty seven member states will undoubtedly be changed as well.

Obtaining a legitimate mandate to decide who will govern and be held accountable maybe a inconvenience but can never be deem irresponsible.

Does the people of the UK want to be governed by directives and treaty's that's formal purpose is to create a consolidated constitution, only one of these is directly elected that must bring into question the democratic nature of the EU.

There is more than a whiff of unaccountable technocracy. This form of co-decision making procedure fly's in the face of nationally elected parliamentary democracies. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took it upon himself to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, against the direct wishes of a number of member states governments.

Emmanuel Macron,French Minister of Economy tone a mixture of empty threats and intimidation that should be taken at face value. Shallow and hollow without any thought or consultation with any of the other 27 member states . Macron statement is an act of breathtaking arrogance, all the hallmarks and attitude of a former investment banker, and should be treated a such.

“You’re either in or you’re out,. The day after an exit, there would be no more financial passport for British establishments. The European council should give the British an ultimatum on their intentions and the French president will be very clear in that respect. If the UK wants a commercial access treaty to the European market, the British must contribute to the European budget like the Norwegians and the Swiss do. If London doesn’t want that, then it must be a total exit.”......

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The UK will survive, and prosper, never right the UK off. no ones doubting itll survive, but itll be a much harder battle to prosper if or a competitor to the EU than with them. Free trade agreements will give the EU more bargaining power than the UK could afford. Many multinationals wold likely move bases out of the UK into the EU. On paper its clear that the UK stands much more to lose than gain by being separate.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If the UK leaves, many manufacturing jobs that export to the EU will be at risk. All jobs selling services into the EU would come to an abrupt end if Britain isn't able to negotiate access to the single market. The EU will use every carrot and stick available to ensure that these jobs leave the UK and come to the EU.

In order to grow the UK economy, Britain will need to double down on sectors where it has a competitive advantage over Europe. These are basically investment banking, financial services, insurance, offshore tax planning etc. This is probably another reason why Macron used the term 'Gurnseyfication' since Britain would effectively become an offshore haven. Does anyone really want an economy based so heavily on financial services? We all saw what happened in 2008.

France would actually stand to benefit from Brexit in terms of political influence and as a premiere financial centre in Europe, so we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss Mr. Macron as just being self-interested.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hi smithinjapan, Stating the consequences of Brexit is not fear-mongering, the value of sterling will decrease, taxes will have to be reviewed, the political consequence, well Emmanuel Macron angry outburst, a temper tantrum is a example, votes have yet to be counted.

Hi M3M3M3, If Emmanuel Macron had left home with his head on the right way up he could have stated the positives of UK membership. And above all took the opportunity to consider the effects of the monetary union on the French economy. Emmanuel Macron could have reached out to the UK electorate and called for contemplation and change.

Humility can be a game-changer, confrontation reveals your weakness, and lack of preparation. But Emmanuel Macron intuitively, no instinctively chose to reveal his position.

A exemplar is Macron ‘Guernseyfication’.... I have some of that ..... Standard & Poor's, assigned Guernsey a high grade AA+ credit rating and confirmed the Guernsey's outlook as stable...... unemployment rate of around 1%....

Compare that to Macron woeful management of his portfolio.

I do wholeheartedly agree with your political stance. Outside one can only bark loudly from the sidelines. Is the UK government up to the task? Cameron and Osborne seem inept, reliant on a legion of advisors and focus groups. I read an article recently that Osbourne failed his A Level Maths. In negotiations one cannot dispense with the socks when the numbers past ten.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Should Britain leave, it will certainly hit them hard. But like all necessary things, it will force them to have a hard look at their welfare and immigration system. The less you have to take care of your own citizens, the less likely you are to look at appeasing foreign nationals or lazy bumpkins to continue lackluster productivity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am quite pragmatic about Brexit: when was Britain most prosperous times (after the colonization era)? Answer: the last 30 years - within EU.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hi M3M3M3, Premiere financial center in Europe unlikely French Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) is and always will be the deal-breaker on that.

Think Hong Kong or New York.

Sorry Macron is hobbled by French system of entitlement. Unable to devalue Le Pen will prevail. Italy's banking system, it sovereign debt will present a binary event, the importance will transcend Brexit.

French Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here is a link you might find interesting , but this applies to most so called democratically run countries not just the one mentioned. Its true , governments don't like critical thinkers, critical speakers, anything or anybody that can challenge the status quo is a threat to the establishment, the system, or should I say their system. If you have any doubts, just do a search of the latest news on the 1%, that is unless you are member of the 1% club.

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Britain would become a minor trading post no more important on the world stage than the island of Guernsey if it voted to leave the European Union next week, France’s economy minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

And that's a bad THING?

Clearly the central banking scheme is house of cards held up by theories and idiots. Maybe we can print more money to build some space ghettos for the poor created by these idiotic "growth" theories.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )


he could have stated the positives of UK membership...Macron could have reached out to the UK electorate and called for contemplation and change.

Yes, that would have been ideal, but it's also a bit of a Britain-centric view don't you think? Macron was addressing his own French constituents in a French newspaper. There are French pharmaceutical companies like Sanofi that are probably planning to increase capacity in the event that Britain leaves the EU. They want clear assurances from Macron that he's not going to let UK withdrawal negotiations drag on forever. European leaders will have a duty to their own voters to stem the uncertainty that will come in the event of Brexit.

On Gurnsey,.. I've never been there but I have actually been next door in Jersey. It's a beautiful place but also one of the most unequal and strange societies I've ever visited. There are countless banks, law firms and accountants lining the streets in St Helier. It looks very prosperous on the surface but when you talk to the locals they don't care much the economy that's grown up on the island. They feel left behind. There is no university in the channel islands, so all of the high skilled banking and legal jobs are closed to locals and their children. All of the high flyers are immigrants from elsewhere. One step they've had to take in order to address soaring house prices (which we might want to try in London?) is banning anyone who hasn't lived on the island for more than 10-15 years from owning property. Amazingly, the rents were even higher than London when I was there (many years ago).

If Gurnsey is anything like Jersey then Marcon's comparison does seem to ring true in many ways. The focus on financial services in London has really come at the expense of ordinary people and other industries. The UK isn't investing in young people or training enough doctors and engineers. Probably because it's cheaper to just import them from the Indian subcontinent. Having the highest tuition fees in Europe isn't helping either. I'm sure you're familiar with how different the situation is in Germany and how they have a more balanced economy. Obviously. Macron would do well to take some lessons from Germany as well but the recent employment law reforms are not a bad first step.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What does Britain contribute to the EU economically speaking? Aside from being a financial center that can easily be relocate, what does it tangibly offer?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

" “Leaving the EU would mean the ‘Guernseyfication’ of the UK, which would then be a little country on the world scale. It would isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe’s border.” "

Like... Switzerland and Norway, which are not EU members and happen to have best economies in Europe? This is pure scaremongering by the unelected Eurocrats. Right off the bat, the UK would receive a giant economic boost in the form of money that is not syphooned off to feed the Brussels bureacracy. As for trade, there is nothing that can not be negoatiated with an elected government, the way Switzerland and Norway do.

In the event, I would not be surprised if the Brits vote for Brexit, but the corrupt current government then turns around does not honor that vote, some sort of technicality, it typical EU fashion.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think many on here are taking Macron's words far too literally and as an attack on Britain. The "‘Guernseyfication’ pun is just political rhetoric, i.e a politician playing mind games like coaches do before a match. Plus keep in mind France is, again, in the midst of a strike, so having a go at 'ultra liberal' UK (for French and euro standards) in a French newspaper is seen as positive by Macron's socialist electorate. He is talking to the French, not the Brits. That's why he also added that he wanted Berlin, Paris and Rome (he did not mention London) to be at the centre of this 'new europe' and that this UK referendum, no matter what the result, marked the end of an 'ultra liberal' vision.

The general sentiment in continental Europe is also that Britain always want to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to the EU. Perhaps euros are getting tired of Britain's de facto 'special status' yet indecisiveness within the EU? Hence the strong 'who do they(the Brits) think they are' tone in this interview.

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Hi Nemrut Dagi.... Take your time there is allot to trug through ......Scroll down to section 3 Contributions to the EU Budget..... These number are independently audited.....

Hi M3M3M3...In reality not one of the net contributors can leave, well not voluntary. I am not totally convinced myself that Brexit will necessarily bring about reform.

But reform must be the number one priority. By reform I mean an escape route from the single currency for Italy, France, Spain, Greece, and Portugal.

I can read that you value UK membership and I am not going to rain on your parade. A vast majority of my family in the UK think I need my head read. Great Brittan's culture of access to benefits, pensions and welfare for all is under threat...... there I am sounding like a socialist tooth and claw.

If Great Britain wants to preserve it unique brand of social justice it must do the unthinkable and take a leap into the unknown.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Nemrut Dagi

What does Britain contribute to the EU economically speaking?

Britain represents around 17.5% of EU GDP. It's the 2nd largest economy in Europe after Germany. As far as the net contribution to the EU budget, that's actually a very controversial subject since it's almost impossible to measure precisely how much money comes back to Britain. For example, a construction worker in Romania who's building a bridge funded by EU money might be spending his wages on Cadbury chocolates and Dyson vacuums that he wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. This money doesn't get counted.

But I think Britain also makes a tremendous non-financial contribution to the EU. To start, the core idea of the single market has its roots in 18th century Britain with the works of people like Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Many of the fundamental rights that underpin the EU have British origins (although the UK itself is now backsliding on some of these). Criminal suspects in France can thank the British for insisting that they have the right to a lawyer when they're being questioned by the police. English is the most important language spoken throughout the EU institutions. The British people are some of the most entreprenurial and creative in Europe. It would be an absolute disaster for both the UK and the EU if we have a Brexit.


Thank you. Yes, I think problems with the Euro might be one of the strongest arguments on the 'leave' side but I still think the Euro will muddle along, somehow. I also agree that you're starting to sound like a socialist! :) Although, to be fair, I was defending George Osbourne the other day which was a bit surreal. The referendum has had a strange effect on us all.

If Great Britain wants to preserve it unique brand of social justice it must do the unthinkable and take a leap into the unknown.

That might be a very hard sell to the average Brit paying down a massive mortgage and planning to send their child to university in Europe where tuition is often free for EU students.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hi M3, There is still time before the vote to debate..Much can be presented that is positive of GB role as a member of the EU..... If you don't mind you comments are a measured last word.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


That's definetly true, but to be honest I really want it to be over already. It seems like alot of the arguments are quite subjective (on both sides) and the voters are just going to go with their gut feeling. I'm not sure if anyone can really be convinced to change their position.

With that in mind, there's a fairly unconventional poll out today that I found interesting. It asks whether people would be terrified, anxious, relieved etc if either side won. It's interesting to see that it doesn't simply mirror the 'in' or 'out' polls.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hi M3, Instinctively, emotionally, it's natural to recoil from change that will effect standards of living, especially wealth, home comforts, quality of life......Interesting... out of 2,046 interviews, 44% would be delighted? 喜んで an expression of joy for Brexit, remarkable these are strange times....Turn out will be crucial, however remain will prevail. it will be judging the margin........

That might be a very hard sell to the average Brit paying down a massive mortgage and planning to send their child to university in Europe where tuition is often free for EU students......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my humble opinion the EU was doomed from the get go. Eventually nations are bound to go in different directions on so many fundemental issues. Few citizens will be content following orders from an outside entity for very long.

Of course I could be wrong. But it's looking more and more like I'm right.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Few citizens will be content following orders from an outside entity for very long.

But I never feel I am following orders from the EU. I'm told when to put out my various refuse bins by the local council. I'm told when to fill out my tax return by the UK Inland Revenue. I've never once received a direct instruction from any EU institution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


I wish I was as confident as you about a 'remain' win. It does look like some of the new polls have turned back towards remain, but I think all the polls are pretty worthless to be honest. It's also interesting to see that the debate has been dominated by economic issues and the benefits of the single market. It's probably a good message to the EU that their stongest support will come from focusing on the single market rather than sticking their fingers in so many other pies.

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