French leader Macron meets May in first official visit to the UK

21 January, 2018, 01:42 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • LBC GETTYNigel Farage urged Britain to reject the French President's deal

The leaders of Britain and France have agreed to step up cooperation in border security and military operations against Islamic militant groups.

French President Emmanuel Macron says Britain and France have signed a treaty to improve the management of their common border and to deal more humanely with migrants.

The additional financial package will be spent on security fencing, CCTV and detection technology in the French city of Calais as well as other ports along the English Channel.

Hundreds of people continue to camp out in the northern French town of Calais, hoping to stow away on trucks heading to Britain, a destination seen as an El Dorado by some migrants from Afghanistan and East Africa.

Britain is to pledge to send three Chinook helicopters to Mali to offer logistical support for a French counterterrorism operation, while France will contribute troops to British-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Estonia in 2019, Reuters says.

"We recognise that as we're leaving the European Union we will no longer be full members of the single market", May told reporters.

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The choice of venue was appropriate as the countries committed to closer defence and security co-operation between "Europe's two foremost military powers", Mrs May said.

The French national anthem welcomed President Emmanuel Macron to Britain's elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, the location indicative of the importance both countries give to their security relationship.

On Dec. 15, 2017, European Union leaders ruled that sufficient progress had been made in the first phase of Brexit talks, allowing negotiations to move on to discussions about Britain's future outside the bloc.

It will be the French president's first trip to the United Kingdom since he assumed power in May 2017.

Mr Macron visited Calais on Tuesday ahead of the UK-France summit.

Under a 2003 agreement known as the Treaty of Le Touquet, France and Britain have "juxtaposed border controls" at channel ports, which means that the British border begins at the northern French coast, and the French border on southern England's coast.

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The French President pointed out there were two options - the Norway model or a Canada-style free trade deal.

"And we have been clear again today that as global, outward-looking nations we remain committed to defending our people and upholding our values as liberal democracies in the face of any threat, whether at home or overseas", Ms May said.

She stressed that the deal with the French would "enhance the security of our border" and would in turn reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK.

Macron, who visited Calais earlier this week, said that France can not be Britain's coastguard. France also wants Britain to take in more migrants from Calais, especially unaccompanied children, but there was no announcement on that issue.

A French human rights commission in 2015 said the accord had made France the "police branch" of Britain's immigration policies.

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