Presidential candidate urges French expats to leave London

by Ray Clancy on February 23, 2017

French expats living in London have been told by one of the candidates in the Presidential election to move back to France.

The Centre pro Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron had a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May and then told a meeting of 2,000 French citizens that they should see Brexit as an opportunity to return to France.

He told the meeting in Central London that they are needed to be innovative in France and their experience in the UK can help them to teach others how to be entrepreneurs.

‘I want France to be a country where we can do all this and we must love success,’ he said, adding that he believes there is a fear of failure in France.

He spoke to an audience of French nationals who run their own businesses, who work in finance and also footballers Steve Mandanda and Yohan Cabaye, who play for the French national team and the English side Crystal Palace.

It is estimated that around 300,000 French nationals live in London which is often referred to as another French city.

During his meeting with May he told her that he wants French expats to return, especially bankers and academics. ‘I want banks, talents, academics, researchers and so on. It will be part of my programme to be attractive for these kinds of people,’ he told her.

He told May that the bilateral deal with France that allows Britain to carry out border control and keep unwanted migrants on the French side of the Channel, known as the Le Touquet agreement, is unlikely to survive Brexit without being reworked.

The polls currently indicate that far left candidate Marine Le Pen is set to win the first round of the presidential election at the end of April but would not win the next round in May.

Macron had been seen as the favourite to take on Le Pen but the latest polls put centre right candidate Francois Fillon ahead of him.

Many French expats living in the UK have said that they are worried about their future since there have been no indication that their current rights will remain once the country has left the European Union.

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