Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : UK and France working closely together [December 2009]

The press release issued by the Department of Trade on 10 December 2009.

The Prime Minister has said the UK and France are working closely together on a range of issues from climate change to curbing bank bonuses.

Gordon Brown held talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy before the start of an EU summit in Brussels.

Earlier today the two leaders set out their shared aims on the economy in a joint article in the Wall Street Journal and called for a “long-term global compact” to regulate the banking sector.

Speaking after the meeting, the PM said:

“When you talk about climate change, about international development, about what we are doing about the recovery and, today, about bank bonuses and the scale of them, the common ground (between the UK and France) has been proven by what actions we have taken together.”

Both leaders said in their article today that a one-off tax on bank bonuses should be considered by governments as a priority. It follows the Chancellor’s announcement in the Pre-Budget Report on Wednesday that a one-off levy on bank bonuses over £25,000 would be used to pay for measures to help the young and older unemployed back into work.

The PM said:

“I think the French agreement to support what we are doing on one-off bonuses is very important. There is a one-off National Insurance Premium to be paid by the City, and that will happen in France as well. I believe other countries will now want to look at it and we have also an agreement in the international community to look at the relationship between banks and the service they owe to society.”