Macron’s Old Boss Sees ‘Very Bumpy’ Brexit With Rudderless U.K.

  • Former French finance minister predicts very long exit process
  • Atos CEO predicts Brexit will last more than two years

The U.K.'s 'Hung Parliament' and What it Means for Brexit

Thierry Breton, the former French finance minister who was once Emmanuel Macron’s boss, now employs thousands of people in the U.K. as the chief executive of Atos SE and he’s appalled at what the political mayhem in the country will mean for Brexit.

“I am scared and I am so confused because this country that we love, which is our ally, doesn’t know where to go,” the 62-year-old CEO of the information technology service giant said at the International Economic Forum of the Americas conference in Montreal on Monday.

The lack of direction, he said, “it’s terrible.”

Most business leaders are dismayed at the chaos unleashed by an inconclusive U.K. election that has Prime Minister Theresa May scrambling to stitch together a minority government. That has left U.K. stance going into divorce talks with the European Union even more unclear.

May promoted a prominent pro-Brexit minister and reappointed a second to her cabinet as she clings to her job. At the same time, some senior ministers are working to moderate her plan to leave the single market.

Companies like Atos have a lot riding on the shape and direction the negotiations take, if they are tending toward a so-called hard Brexit or not.

The EU is ready to speak with one voice in the upcoming negotiations but needs a strong U.K. knowing what it wants, he said, adding the process is set to last more than two years.

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