Anglo-French Summit: Macron to Reject Sunak's Small Boats Plan, UK Government Under Pressure to Deliver Results

Anglo-French Summit: Macron to Reject Sunak’s Small Boats Plan, UK Government Under Pressure to Deliver Results

UK PM, Rishi Sunak, is set to travel to Paris for an Anglo-French summit where the topic of small boats, Brexit, and defense will be discussed.

Ahead of the meeting, Emmanuel Macron is reportedly planning to reject Sunak’s plan to return small boats to France. The UK PM is hoping to establish a long-term agreement with France to return illegal immigrants who cross the English Channel, with Britain accepting refugees from the EU in return.

However, government officials have played down the possibility of such an agreement, saying that it would require EU-wide agreement. Instead, the focus is expected to shift to a new deal to increase police patrols on French beaches.

An EU diplomat has expressed doubt over the UK’s proposals, saying that other EU members, such as Italy, are not following the same rules.

Macron is understood to be demanding annual payments from the UK to put “boots on the ground” on the beaches of northern France, while an Elysée source has said that France is trying to agree on a multi-annual financing framework with Britain to better plan its actions and increase its resources.

Last year, 45,728 migrants arrived in the UK on small boats, up from 299 in 2018. The UK has paid France over £193 million since 2014 to increase patrols, with the latest payment of £62 million made in November.

Yesterday, the Home Secretary introduced new legislation to stop the small boats crisis by deporting tens of thousands of people who enter the UK illegally.

Tory MPs have questioned the value for money of previous deals with France, with some calling for the French police to arrest migrants on the beaches and invest in technology such as drones to improve their efforts.

However, other MPs have suggested that the French should be willing to pay for their own measures to prevent illegal immigration. The pressure is mounting on the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to find a solution to the ongoing crisis.

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