French business to gain from Brexit, but Frexit menaces
Vivien Pertusot, of the international relations think tank Ifri, said the Franco-British political relationship had never been defined by the European Union but is based on bilateral interests.
"That will not change," Pertusot said. "It's not like Germany, where the Franco-German relationship is extremely important as long as the EU is working well."
Pertusot foresees a period of fluctuation because "for the French, being a part of the EU is extremely important, almost vital - so if you're not part of it, you're a different kind of partner."
Despite EU-wide uncertainty after the vote, France has its eye on new potential economic opportunities offered by the Brexit. When the Brits walk away, they lose access to the common market and "passporting" services, a privilege that's key to the success of London's powerhouse financial industry.
France could strengthen its financial services sector. "They will want to get some pieces of the cake," Pertusot said, "because some companies will export some of their activities out of London to remain part of the single market."