Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron to have crunch summit in France

Rishi Sunak will head to France for a major summit with Emmanuel Macron in March. The two leaders will meet in Paris for talks covering issues including measures to tackle Channel migrant crossings.

The Prime Minister and the French President will also discuss topics including security, energy, climate change, the economy and foreign policy during the summit on March 10.

The meeting will be the first UK-France summit since 2018.

It marks the pair’s efforts to repair relations which have been strained by Brexit and disputes over small boats carrying migrants across the English Channel.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “French President Emmanuel Macron will host the Prime Minister for a UK-France summit on March 10.

“The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis summit was discussed by the two leaders during their first phone call in October 2022.

“It will be the first meeting of this kind since 2018 and an opportunity to deepen cooperation between the UK and France in a huge range of areas including security, climate and energy, the economy, migration and shared foreign policy goals.”

The spokesman said “you can certainly expect” the issue of small boats to come up “given it is high on the priority list” for the Prime Minister.

Mr Sunak made curbing Channel crossings one of his five pledges when he last week gave his first speech of the new year.

He promised to introduce new laws to tackle the issue as Government figures show a record 45,756 migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in 2022.

The Prime Minister said legislation would be introduced “as soon as practically possible”.

But Mr Sunak stopped short of setting a target date on his promise to end crossings altogether.

He said: “We will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.”

Mr Sunak’s relationship with Mr Macron marks a shift from his predecessor Liz Truss.

During her campaign to be Tory leader and PM, Ms Truss sparked controversy by saying “the jury’s out” when asked whether the French leader was a “friend or foe”.

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