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London likely to lose financial passport after Brexit, warns French politician

EU and UK flags fly above the EU Commission offices in Westminster, London. David Cameron is making final efforts to bolster support for his proposed European Union reforms before a crunch summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 17 2016. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA

A senior French politician has warned Britain will lose crucial financial access rights to the EU during a visit to London to poach bankers and financiers.
Valerie Pecresse, president of Ile-de-France, said Brexit is opening up "fierce competition" between Europe's capital cities vying to take business from the City.
Exit talks will "most likely" mean an end to passporting rules that allow unhindered financial trade, she said.
Ms Pecresse told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We are a very stable choice, we are very near London, we are very close."
Paris last year launched a campaign to tempt financial institutions away from London with the slogan "Tired of the fog? Try the Frogs!".
Ms Pecresse said Paris was the largest financial centre after London and had a better quality of life.
She added: "You chose to be outside the European Union. It's a long, long process to go out of the European Union but, in the end, most likely, London will lose the financial passport.
"If it loses the financial passport some of the London firms will have an interest to go to a country of the European Union."
She added: "The market is in Europe, the clients are in Europe, the tech is in Paris, the quality of life is in Paris."

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