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BREXIT

Paris region promised ‘2,500 jobs’ post Brexit… and it’s seeking thousands more

The French region of Ile-de-France that includes Paris has already been promised 2,500 jobs to be switched from Britain as a result of Brexit, its president has claimed.

Paris region promised '2,500 jobs' post Brexit... and it's seeking thousands more
Photo: AFP

“#Brexit: 2,500 jobs already announced for Ile-de-France, with a target of 10,000 by 2019,” Valerie Pecresse tweeted on a visit to London to meet representatives of 70 internationally-focused companies based in London.

Pecresse's figure concerns large financial companies, so the total could be closer to 3,500 and 4,000 posts once small businesses are taken into account, Arnaud de Bresson, chief executive of financial lobby group Paris Europlace and who was part of the visit, told AFP by telephone.

Large financial institutions, including British bank HSBC, Swiss peer UBS and US giants JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, have confirmed plans to move some activities to Paris, as well as to Amsterdam, Dublin and Frankfurt, as a result of Britain's departure from the European Union.

The Bank of England said this month that 10,000 UK financial services jobs could move abroad on the first day of Brexit, after warnings of up to 75,000 relocations in total.

Britain is set to leave the bloc in March 2019, but remains locked in tough exit negotiations with the EU.

The French government is eager to do what it can to make the most of the fallout of Britain's divorce from the EU.

In September the French government confirmed it plans to cut taxes on high-earning finance sector jobs as part of efforts to make Paris more attractive for firms shifting operations out of London due to Brexit.

The 2018 budget will eliminate the marginal tax rate on salaries of employees in firms not subject to the Value Added Tax (VAT), such as banks and insurance companies, that exceed 152,279 euros ($178,761).

From January 1 the higher 20 percent rate on wages above that level will disappear and the 13 percent rate applied until 2013 will be used.

The government estimates that banks, insurance companies and other financial firms stand to save 140 million euros in 2018, thanks to the change.

But it's not just financial companies who look set to leave London for Paris.

Successful startup Once told The Local the uncertainty around Brexit and the election of pro-business Emmanuel Macron in France meant the time was right to swap London for Paris.

“After the Brexit referendum we soon found it a lot harder to grow as a company,” Once's deputy chief marketing officer Eva Peris (seen in pic below) told The Local. 
 
“A startup is an idea and what drives it is the people. You can't grow as a company if you can't get the right people in.”
 
The ability to recruit international talent, once London's strong point, suddenly became more problematic.
 
“I have lost track of the number of developers, marketing managers or data scientists who refused to join us following the Brexit vote,” wrote Once's CEO Jean Meyer. “Uncertainty is the worst enemy of the entrepreneur and the signal coming from the United Kingdom through the Brexit vote is absolutely disastrous.”
 
READ ALSO:

Brexit: 'I'm ready to leave 'toxic' UK but fear the return to France'

TRAVEL NEWS

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Visits to the Channel islands from France have halved since Brexit, and French local authorities say they may be forced to cut the regular ferry service, asking for the passport requirement to be waived for French visitors.

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Travel to and from the Channel islands – which are British crown dependancies – has reduced significantly since Brexit, when passports became a requirement for those travelling in and out of the islands and their ports.

Now the president of the local authorities in the Manche département of France has asked that passport requirements be lifted, with hopes of increasing travel to and from the islands.

Jean Morin told Ouest France that there has been a “considerable reduction in the number of passengers on routes between the Channel ports and the islands” and as a result the ferry service between France and the islands was seriously in deficit.

“On these lines, we will never make money, but we cannot be in deficit”, explained the Morin. 

He added that if a solution is not found by the deadline of May 1st, 2023, then local authorities will stop funding the shipping company DNO, which runs the Manche Îles Express ferry service.

“If the passport requirement is not lifted by then, we will have no choice but not to renew the service contract for 2024-2025”, Morin told Ouest France.

Only around half of French people have a passport, since the ID card issued to all adults is sufficient to travel within the EU. 

READ MORE: Ask the Expert: How Brexit has changed the rules on pensions, investments and bank accounts for Brits in France

DNO re-launched operations in April and since then, the company, and by extension the département – who plays a large role in funding it via a public service delegation – has been losing significant funds.

According to Franceinfo, the number of passengers has been cut in half since passport requirements were introduced. Franceinfo estimates that for one ticket for one passenger costing €30, the département spends €200.

According to Morin, the ideal solution would be to require a simple ID for tourists seeking to take just day-long or weekend-long stays on the islands – which reportedly represents at least 90 percent of the boats’ usual passengers.

“The Jersey government is working hard on the issue and is waiting for an agreement from London and the European Union. There is the possibility that things could move quickly”, Morin told Franceinfo on Tuesday.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, boats going to and from the French mainland carried at least 110,000 people per year. In 2022, only 40,000 passengers made the journey, Olivier Normand, the sales manager of Manche Îles Express, told Actu France.

Normand had expected the decline, however. He told Actu France that the company had taken a survey, which found that almost half (between 40 and 50 percent) of their clientele did not have a passport. 

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