Franco-British summit: what are the issues?

Jacques Serais, edited by Laura Laplaud

For the 36th Franco-British summit, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is going to the Elysee Palace this Friday. He will be welcomed by Emmanuel Macron and seven of his ministers. On the program: interview, working lunch, round table and above all an issue: the fight against illegal immigration.

Two weeks before the visit of King Charles III and the Queen Consort to France, is it time for a friendly reunion between Paris and London? A Franco-British summit will be held at the Élysée Palace this Friday. Emmanuel Macron, with seven of his ministers (Foreign Affairs, Defence, Economy, Energy, Environment, Transport, Interior) receives British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and seven of his ministers as well. On the program: a bilateral meeting at 10:50 a.m., a round table with French and British companies, a working lunch and then a joint press conference at 3 p.m.

Illegal immigration, an important subject for London

For this 36th Franco-British summit, the first since 2018, there are many challenges for the two nations, starting with the fight against illegal immigration. If Paris does not describe it as the priority of this summit, it is nevertheless this subject which particularly interests London.

Illegal crossings continue to increase

While his government presented three days ago a bill aimed at prohibiting the deportation in a few weeks of those who arrive by the Channel, and aimed at prohibiting them from seeking asylum, Rishi Sunak goes to the Elysée. If the relatives of Emmanuel Macron minimize the scope of the text, the entourage of the British leader recalls that it is “crucial” to work with the French to prevent crossings. Because these are constantly increasing. In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants illegally joined the English sides, a record.

Announcements in terms of “means allocated to the management of this common border” are expected. The war in Ukraine will of course also be at the heart of their exchanges. France and the United Kingdom are the first two European armies, the only two equipped with nuclear weapons in Europe.

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