Brexit "Taking up the torch"

La France a un rôle à jouer dans la sauvegarde des contributions britanniques positives à l'UE, déclarent Arnaud Vaissié et Pascal Boris, cofondateurs du Think-tank le "Cercle d’outre-Manche".

La CCIF Grande Bretagne publie dans son magasine Info Winter 2019, un article sur le dernier rapport du Cercle d'outre-Manche sur le Brexit.

Interview des cofondateurs du Cercle d'outre-Manche : Pascal Boris, et Arnaud Vaissié, également Président de CCI France International

A report from a leading Anglo-French organisation outlines four vital areas where the UK contributes to the European Union, and sets out an opportunity for France to fill the gap following a British exit from the EU. Le Cercle d’outre-Manche, an independent think-tank that promotes best practices for business development and economic policies, released their report, 'Les 4 contributions majeures du Royaume-Uni à l’Union européenne qu’il conviendra de préserver et de continuer à porter après le Brexit: Un rôle à jouer pour la France? (The four major contributions of the UK to the EU necessary to preserve after Brexit: A role for France?) last July.

The report details areas where the EU stands to lose out after Brexit, if key British contributions are lost. They include the strength of British championing of free trade and of expanding the single market, and Britain as a leader in labour liberalisation and model for other EU countries. It also notes the British example of a governance structure that favours independent regulators, and has a strong pro-business (and anti-red tape) voice in Brussels.

In its conclusion, the report argues that France ‘must dare to be the voice of economic freedom in the European Union both for its national interest and that of Europe,’ and that this ‘will help to create the necessary conditions for greater prosperity for all the countries of the Union.’

It advocates on behalf of the next generation of business men and women, those who value individual freedom and understand that the role of the entrepreneur is now widely valued in society on both sides of the Channel. As the issue of British departure continues to escalate, the think-tank is considering plans to re-release the report in 2019.

The British example

Le Cercle d’outre-Manche is a think-tank with a unique mandate to promote best-in-class British economic and public policies in France.

The self-funded group was founded in 2004 by Pascal Boris CBE, former CEO of BNP Paribas in the UK, and Arnaud Vaissié, Chairman and CEO of International SOS, and includes many prominent French business people operating in Britain.

‘Our experience as CEOs led to the idea that there was an opportunity for France to adapt to British success,’ says Pascal Boris. ‘It would be impossible for the British to try to influence policy makers in France, as is our aim. But as French citizens living and working in the UK, we have legitimacy and the necessary ties to French ministers.’ The think-tank has registered many successes, including influencing French reforms based on British examples, such as the Jobcentre, the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Low Pay Commission.

Arnaud Vaissié, who is also President of the overseas French Chambers of Commerce (CCI France International), notes that the think-tank’s work has taken on special significance following Britain’s EU referendum vote.

‘We see an important role to play in the long and twisting story between our two nations,’ says Vaissié. ‘Regardless of what happens, deal or no deal, we see a place for thought leadership and above all the need to maintain the dialogue between Britain and France.’ I

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