François Villeroy de Galhau: Europe, France and the United Kingdom - facing our common economic challenges

Speech by Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, at the Annual Financial Lunch of the French Chamber of Great Britain, London, 23 November 2017.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
29 December 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be in London today and I wish to thank you for inviting me to speak at your Annual Financial Lunch. The destiny of France and the United Kingdom has indeed been linked for a very long time; the existence of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, which was established 143 years ago, is a good illustration of these firm and lasting ties. In this regard, I would like to express our full solidarity for the series of terrorist attacks that hit London recently. King Georges VI declared in 1940, and his words still apply to this day, that: "It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed." I believe that the spirit of resilience that is so characteristic of Londoners is what we need the most in times of crisis. We are and will always remain close friends and partners, even if we will no longer - unfortunately - be in the same European Club when Brexit is completed. Today, I will first elaborate on two challenges that will continue uniting us: the need for good national economic policies, pro-business and long-term oriented; and the need for active multilateralism to face our global challenges. Then, I will dwell on a challenge that we will have to address together: our future relationship and Brexit.