Hollande says competition rules need ‘adapting’ under new post-Brexit priorities

31 January 2017 9:54am

29 June 2016. By Lewis Crofts.

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has galvanized its remaining members to look anew at where they want to go as a 27-nation bloc. Part of the new policy drive should involve “adapting” competition laws, French President Francois Hollande has said.

Today, leaders from all EU member states — apart from the UK — met at a summit in Brussels to decide how to respond to the pending departure of the world’s fifth-largest economy from its membership.

In a show of unity, they said the European project would continue and they would convene at a summit in September in Bratislava to start to flesh out the results of a period of “reflection.”

Hollande told reporters after the summit that an EU of 27 countries needed to concentrate on two areas: keeping citizens safe and supporting economic growth.

Growth, employment and investment would provide for “industries of the future,” he said. “That supposes that the competition rules can, of course be applied but above all adapted.”

“We need some global leaders,” he said. “We need more support both for private and public investments.”

In recent years, French ministers have been vocal critics of EU competition laws, saying they have impeded the progress of industries and the creation of jobs.

Hollande also said that the departure of the UK from the EU wouldn’t affect cooperation between France and Britain on the new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

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