David Cameron EU Speech: France Will 'Roll Out Red Carpet For Business' If UK Leaves Union, Says Laurent Fabius

Posted: Updated:
LAURENT FABIUS
Laurent Fabius, France's Foreign Minister | Getty Images

David Cameron had not even finished his EU speech before a French minister sent out a barb on this morning's radio - offering to "roll out the red carpet to British businessmen".

Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Secretary, speaking on radio station France Info, said that his country would welcome businessmen that would flee Britain if they left the European Union.

He said they would "dérouler le tapis rouge" (roll out the red carpet), to businesses, a dig at David Cameron who used precisely the same term last year in reference to French businessmen and the new 75% tax which has been proposed by French president Francois Hollande.


Laurent Fabius
"Si la Grande Bretagne décide de quitter l'Europe, nous déroulerons aux hommes d'affaire le tapis rouge" Sur

Jon Williams
France's FM tells French radio "If Britain decides to leave Europe, we'll roll out red carpet for businessmen"

During the interview Fabius told the interviewer that Europe was not "a la carte", but a set menu, and countries cannot choose which parts of the Union they preferred to adopt.

He said: "We are like a football club, and if you want to join the football club, you can't say 'Let's play rugby'."

The "red carpet" metaphor was a reference to comments Cameron made in June at the G20 summit in Mexico, about France's "corrective finance bill" which will charge 75% of tax for those earning over one million euros.

SEE ALSO:

Cameron said at the time: "If the French go ahead with a 75% top rate of tax we will roll out the red carpet and welcome more French businesses to Britain and they will pay taxes in Britain and that will pay for our health service, and our schools and everything else.”

French Work Minister Michel Sapin, when asked about the comments, joked: “I’m not sure how you roll a red carpet over the Channel; it would probably get wet."

Around the Web

David Cameron's EU speech: moment of truth for a man opposed to ...

Britain PM to give delayed EU speech on Wednesday - Yahoo! News

Cameron's EU speech: the questions he will need to answer

Video: David Cameron's EU speech is cold comfort for Michael ...

Cameron's EU speech may not be the failure everyone predicts ...

Cameron to deliver delayed EU speech on Wednesday | The Times

The Bloomberg Speech: Dave EU Speech Tomorrow 8am - Guy ...

Cameron's EU speech may have 'disastrous outcome' for UK

Cameron to deliver delayed EU speech on Wednesday