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France would 'roll out red carpet' for UK investors

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France would 'roll out red carpet' for UK investors
France says it would love to have any British investors who flee the country if the UK leaves the EU. Photo: Carl Court/AFP
10:43 CEST+02:00
If the UK votes to leave the European Union, France would be ready to "roll out the red carpet" for British firms looking to stay within Europe, France's economy minister has said, echoing the British PM's promise to do the same for French firms escaping the tax man.

France is ready to "roll out the red carpet" to British investors if Britain opted to leave the EU, French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said Tuesday, after eurosceptic party UKIP topped the poll in European elections in Britain.

"If they were to vote to leave the EU, France will roll out the red carpet to British investors who will flee their country. They will all come to France because companies need Europe," Montebourg told MetroNews freesheet.

His remarks were a riposte to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who angered France's Socialist government in 2012 when he said that Britain would roll out the red carpet to French tax exiles.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) -- which wants to pull Britain out of the European Union -- won last week's European elections, pushing Cameron's party into third place.

Cameron said the outcome showed voters' "deep disillusionment" with the European Union and proved he was right to pledge to put Britain's membership to a referendum.

France's President François Hollande has meanwhile called for the EU to scale back its role, after his party too, took a beating in the polls.

His Socialist Party registered a record low vote of just under 14 percent while the far-right National Front topped the polls with nearly a quarter of the vote.

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