British businesses face being locked out of the £350 billion market for public contracts in the EU under a proposal from France’s incoming president.
Companies such as BT and Serco which carry out work for EU institutions and member states would be hard hit by a proposal by Emmanuel Macron to introduce a “buy European act” reserving access to public procurement deals to companies that produce most of their goods or services in the bloc.
During his presidential campaign, Macron said time and again that he aims to “reform” the European Union. By that, he means that Brussels should become more powerful.
The executive branch of the Grand European Project™, the European Commission, has said it would “never advocate a ‘buy European only’ policy.” At the same time, however, the commission has already recommended in an internal memo that EU institutions “begin freezing out British businesses from multi-million-pound contracts.”
In other words, although the European Commission won’t go so far as to adopt an official “buy European only” policy, they are more than willing to shut out British companies. In that sense, then, Macron will certainly get his way. That must please him tremendously because he has a habit of attacking Britain just about every single day. Why, you ask? Well, British voters had the audacity to vote for Brexit. Macron is many things, but a democrat he is not. And so he relentlessly attacks Prime Minister Theresa May for her promise to follow through on the referendum results, which he literally calls “a crime.”
“Buy European” is nothing more than revenge against Britain. It’s pathetic, but it’s sadly also how Macron rolls.
Thankfully for Britain, there’s also good news: The EU needs Britain just as much as a trading partner as Britain needs the EU. If Macron gets his way and Britain reciprocates, the EU stands to suffer at least as much as Britain. The Brits aren’t powerless. If Macron wants to hurt them, May can hurt him just as much — and possibly even more so considering that if there’s one economy that can be brought down to its knees with just a little shove, it’s France’s.
Here’s a piece of advice for Macron: don’t call for a trade war if your own economy is in the tank already. You may hurt your opponent a bit, but you’ll end up destroying yourself.