Finance

France and Britain reach bilateral border security deal

France and Britain reach bilateral border security deal

Some had hoped Prime Minister Theresa May's offer to pay tens of millions more towards controlling the border in Calais and to accept more migrants from Northern France would persuade the French leader to be generous in Brexit talks.

At a press conference following a summit with Theresa May at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, the French President said the United Kingdom could not enjoy the same trading terms as now if it leaves the single market after Brexit.

The funds will be allocated for the construction of a fence, as well as installation of CCTV and other detection technologies in Calais and other English Channel ports.

Migrants hoping to stow away on trucks bound for Britain have always been drawn to France's northern coast, with the squalid "Jungle" camp near Calais once housing about 10,000 people before it was bulldozed in late 2016.

They will provide logistical support to French forces attempting to bring stability to "ungoverned spaces" in the Sahel region of Africa where Islamist extremist groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda have gained a foothold.

French president Emmanuel Macron has told Britain that its financial services sector can not enjoy full access to Europe unless it accepts the jurisdiction of European courts and other single market rules.

With Brexit looming overhead, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are working to preserve ties between their two countries.

Emmanuel Macron will be visiting Britain as president for the first time on Thursday (Yui Mok/PA).




Downing Street said in a statement later that the two countries are the only European powers with the ability and political will to deploy and sustain significant military force.

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.

Mrs May's official spokesman said on Wednesday: "We have given a clear commitment in relation to child refugees following the Dubs amendment".

The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, tweeted: "EU leaders agree to move on to the second phase of #Brexit talks".

The plan was met with fury by politicians who said enough had already been paid to the French to tackle the problem in their country.

A U.K. Government spokesperson said: "This is about investing in and enhancing the security of the U.K. border".

A Brexit deal that "works for everyone and keeps trade moving" is vital, he said, citing the £71 billion worth of trade between Britain and France and the "formidable investment that takes place in both directions".

Previous bilateral summits have focussed on defence and security, foreign policy and nuclear energy, but Thursday's 35th summit will be "broadened to cover the full spectrum of the UK-France bilateral relationship including prosperity, innovation, science and education", it said.