21/02/2017 19:12 GMT

Emmanuel Macron, French Presidential Hopeful, Signals Raid On UK Talent After Brexit

'I want banks, talents, researchers, academics'.

The French Presidential hopeful seen as the great liberal hope in Europe has attempted to woo UK talent to attract them across the Channel after Brexit.

Emmanuel Macron, who is standing as an independent and leads some polls over the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, made the audacious bid for British bankers and academics after a meeting with Theresa May at Downing Street. 

Macron was on a visit to London for a rally for 200,000 French voters who live in the capital and could sweep him to power.

Speaking to reporters on the doorstep of Number 10, he said:

“I was very happy to see that some academics and researchers in the UK because of Brexit are considering coming to France to work.

“It will be part of my programme to be attractive for these kinds of people.

“I want banks, talents, researchers, academics and so on.

“I think that France and the European Union are a very attractive space now so in my programme I will do everything I can to make it attractive and successful.” 

XXSTRINGERXX xxxxx / Reuters
Emmanuel Macron, candidate in France's 2017 French presidential speaks to media outside 10 Downing Street.

The 39-year-old, who quit the ruling Socialist party this year to form his En Marche movement, also said he had told the Prime Minister he wanted a “fair execution of Brexit” to protect French and European interests.

Macron is set to make it through to the final two-round contest against Le Pen since the Republican candidate Francois Fillon has been enveloped in the “Penelopegate” scandal.

Toby Melville / Reuters
Campaign badges for Emmanuel Macron, candidate in France's 2017 French presidential election, are seen before he delivers an address for French nationals in London.