French Finance Minister Francois Baroin has become the latest senior figure in Paris to criticise weaknesses in the British economy.

It comes after the chairman of the French central bank suggested the UK’s economy should be downgraded – ahead of France – by ratings agencies because the British economy was weaker.

There is speculation France could lose its own triple-A credit rating.

UK officials will join talks despite not signing up to the eurozone pact.

Europe correspondent Matthew Price says there has been an astonishing series of attacks coming out of Paris.

Our correspondent says French officials are smarting from the expected imminent loss of their cherished AAA rating.

‘Rather be French’

Mr Baroin told Europe 1 radio on Friday: “The economic situation in Britain today is very worrying, and you’d rather be French than British in economic terms.”

Downing Street downplayed the remarks, saying: “We have put in place a credible plan for dealing with our deficit and the credibility of that plan can be seen in what has happened to bond yields in this country.”

On Thursday, the chairman of the French central bank, Christian Noyer, suggested that any downgrade should instead start with the UK “which has more deficits, as much debt, more inflation, less growth than us”.

But France has been warned by US credit ratings agency Standards and Poor that it could be downgraded over the eurozone crisis.

David Cameron vetoed an EU-wide treaty change involving all states and faced claims it would leave the UK isolated.

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