Ambassador meets the French Chamber of Commerce
On 27 May the French Ambassador briefed members of the French Chamber of Commerce of Great Britain on the consequences of the general election outcome on Franco-British relations and the European Union (EU).
As David Cameron puts his demands for reforms to his European partners ahead of a referendum on UK membership, due to be held by the end of 2017, Sylvie Bermann stated clearly that it was in both France and the UK’s interests for the country to remain a member of the EU. For France, given our close bilateral relationship in economic, cultural and defence matters, the UK is in fact a key player in the European Union. The Ambassador also recalled that the French President was one of the first heads of state to telephone David Cameron to congratulate him on his re-election, and that he had invited him to the Élysée Palace.
The Ambassador emphasized that, in the upcoming debate, the voice of the business world will be essential and that the Chamber of Commerce will have a role to play. Organizations in the economic sector, for example the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) during its annual dinner, have already begun to take a stance.
Finally for Sylvie Bermann, in the face of the major challenges Europe faces – security and the fight against terrorism, the Ukraine crisis, climate, energy, migration in the Mediterranean and the challenges of globalization in our societies – it is vital that the United Kingdom remains an active player in the EU and in the international arena.