French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Roshi Sunak want to put Franco-British relations on a new footing, with “new ambition” after the period of post-Brexit tensions. The first agreement to settle the relationship between the two countries is related to combating illegal immigration.
“This is a moment of finding each other, of reconnecting, of a new beginning. The pinnacle of new ambition.” – The President of the French Republic said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart, Friday, in Paris, in the first summit meeting between the two countries since 2018.
“A new beginning, a renewed harmonyThe British Prime Minister emphasized, referring to the century-old friendly relationship between the two countries, which has become somewhat difficult since Brexit.
To seal the restart, the leaders of the two countries struck a new deal to reduce illegal immigration from French shores across the English Channel to the UK.
Britain greatly increased financial support for France to strengthen the coast guard.
“Over the next three years, the UK will provide €141m for 2023-24, €191m for 2024-25 and €209m for 2025-26.It was disclosed in the statement released after the meeting.
For the first time in five years, a high-level British-French meeting will take place
Friday’s Downing Street announcement highlights that the last official bilateral summit between Britain and France was held in London in 2018.
The British Prime Minister also announced the opening of a “new collection point” in northern France for detained illegal immigrants, as well as the creation of a new command post where special forces from the two countries would work together.
In addition, London will publish an additional five hundred periodicals on the French coast. More drones and other technology will help French forces catch more illegal immigrants.
The French President stressed that the two countries want to fight illegal immigration together, not forgetting the “humanitarian issues” and the “particularly sensitive nature” of the issue.
Emmanuel Macron indicated that the French authorities arrested more than 1,300 criminals last year and dismantled 55 people-smuggling networks, “thanks to the work of the joint French-British intelligence team.”
Despite all this, in 2022 approximately 46,000 people managed to illegally cross the English Channel. So the two countries have already signed an agreement last November on strengthening cooperation in combating illegal crossings.
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