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10 July 2012
Extract from statements given by the Prime Minister David Cameron and the French President, M. Francois Hollande at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 10th July 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’m delighted to welcome President Hollande to Downing Street on his first presidential visit to Britain. Bienvenue, François. It’s been great to have you here today. We’ve had good discussions on many issues: our bilateral relationship; the EU and the eurozone; and some vital foreign policy challenges.
France is an essential and valued partner of Britain. Our economies are closely interwoven. French companies employ 180,000 people across the United Kingdom, and we export more to France than to China, India, Japan and Turkey combined. We’re working together to meet our future energy needs through close cooperation on nuclear power. Companies like EDF and Centrica, who are on track to develop a nuclear power station in Somerset. And our cooperation at the Channel Tunnel and seaports will help to secure a safe Olympics. And I’m delighted that François will be coming to see some of the Games for himself.
With David Cameron, our relationship has been based on a common intent to put both our countries on the path to growth and recovery. We have many contacts which can help in this respect. First of all, industrial cooperation. We discussed together what we could be doing in the energy sector in particular. When I say what we could be doing, I mean what our businesses could be doing together. And here, in particular regarding the civil nuclear energy or renewable energies, both the British and French businesses have an outstanding expertise.