LONDON (AP) — French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron met British Prime Minister Theresa May in London Tuesday — and said he hopes to lure skilled workers away from the U.K. after it leaves the European Union.
Macron met May at the prime minister’s 10 Downing St. office during a trip to rally support among French expatriates in the British capital.
May’s office says the meeting was requested by Macron, a centrist contender in France’s two-round April-May election. Macron’s star is rising in France, and he could find himself in a runoff against far-right contender Marine Le Pen in the second round of the vote.
Macron said after the meeting he was pleased that some academics and researchers in the U.K. are considering coming to France to work after Brexit.
“It will be part of my program to be attractive for these kinds of people,” he said, citing “banks, talents, researchers, academics and so on.”
Macron is due to address hundreds of supporters at a rally in London, home to more than 100,000 French citizens.
Some estimate the number is even higher: Macron said there were 200,000 French voters in Britain, and he hoped many would return.
“I want to convince them that France is changing, I want to promote my country and make it succeed in the 21st century and (tell them) that now, in the coming years, they will have a lot of opportunities to come back to France and succeed in France,” he said.