Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded France's rating to AA+ from AAA, saying the country's economic output and forecasts have become "substantially weaker".
A Treasury spokesman said today's Fitch downgrade was a sign that Britain must continue to reduce its debt:
Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the Fitch downgrade was a "humiliating blow" to David Cameron and George Osborne.
Fitch Ratings has downgraded the UK from AAA to AA+, but said that the outlook is stable.
The rating actions follow the conclusion of the review of the UK's sovereign ratings initiated on 22 March.
Fitch has explained that the reason for the downgrade is that despite the UK's "strong fiscal financing flexibility", its ability to absorb further adverse economic shocks is "no longer consistent with an 'AAA' rating".
Fitch Ratings has downgraded the UK's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to 'AA+' from 'AAA'.
A Treasury spokesperson said:
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, warned that the UK must "deal with the enormous debts and deficits that we inherited" and stick to the Government's economic strategy, as Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on the country.
Fitch Ratings warned it could downgrade the United Kingdom's AAA rating in the next couple of years if the government fails to contain the expansion of its public debt.
The credit ratings agency also revised the outlook on the UK's rating to negative from stable, warning that the government has "very limited fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic shocks".