Following the partnership agreement signed in April 2018 between the Ille-et-Vilaine Chamber of Commerce and the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which announced the creation of the Franco-British Business Club (FBBC), Matthew LODGE, Deputy Ambassador of Great Britain to France, came back to Eastern Brittany for another visit on November 20th 2018.
The goal of his visit was to tour the port of Saint-Malo, its facilities and industries and talk about partnership opportunities between Saint-Malo and a British port. Several interesting exchanges took place between the port of Saint-Malo’s business community and the British Embassy. Amongst these exchanges were those about fishing, post-Brexit fishing rights and Saint-Malo potentially becoming a landing port for fishery products. Brexit is in everyone’s mind, but, as His Excellency, Matthew Lodge, puts it: “we must stay optimistic, as BREXIT negotiations are a matter of security between 2 people, sometimes in competition with each other, but most importantly neighbors, partners and friends. This is more important than politics and it must last!”
Regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations (hard or soft Brexit), Saint-Malo is currently working on revamping its customs facilities and veterinary and phytosanitary stations. The port’s business community, customs authorities, local politicians and movers and shakers meet regularly in Rennes or Saint-Malo through the Franco-British Business Club* (housed inside the Rennes Bretagne World Trade Center) to talk about the latest Brexit news, future projects and ways to improve business relations between the UK and France.
*The Franco-British Business Club is facilitated by Nicholas BEATY, Coordinator of the Rennes Bretagne WTC, and Brian MURPHY, Representative of the Franco-British Chamber in Brittany, France.