Macron, Sunak to hold first meeting at COP27
French President Emmanuel Macron and Rishi Sunak will meet Monday on the sidelines of a UN climate summit for the first time since the British premier took office, Macron’s office said.
Dozens of heads of state and government, including Macron and the recently named Sunak, are expected to converge on Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the UN’s COP27 summit, which began on Sunday.
Macron and Sunak spoke over the phone late last month, with Downing Street saying that they had agreed on greater cooperation to prevent migrant crossings across the Channel.
The British prime minister stressed the “importance for both nations to make the Channel route completely unviable for people traffickers”, according to Downing Street.
In an article published in the British newspaper the Mail on Sunday, interior minister Suella Braverman said she had been working with her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin “to build greater cooperation and make better use of UK surveillance technology”.
This year, a record 37,570 people have crossed the Channel to England in small boats.
The issue has caused a major political headache for the UK government, which promised tighter border controls after leaving the European Union.
Tensions have risen between London and Paris, with the UK government accusing France of not doing enough to stop the crossings.
The Mail on Sunday reported that Sunak’s government wants to sign a deal with France on cross-Channel cooperation “in the coming weeks”.
The Times reported last month, citing government sources, that Sunak wants to tighten up the terms of a draft deal with France and make it “more ambitious”.
Sunak wants the draft deal with France to include a minimum number of French officers patrolling beaches, the report said.