Sunak and Macron discuss curbing cross-Channel migration
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday to discuss the ongoing issue of cross-Channel migration. Sunak urged Macron to take stronger action to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats. He argued that improving border controls in France would be a key part of any solution, and called for increased cooperation between the two countries.
Sunak also praised the “essential” UK-France alliance, and expressed his hope that the two nations could work together to address the issue. Macron, for his part, called for a “comprehensive approach” to the problem, which would involve addressing the root causes of migration and improving conditions in migrants’ countries of origin.
The meeting came amid a rise in cross-Channel migration, with a record number of people making the journey in small boats last year. The UK has been struggling to cope with the influx, and has faced criticism from some quarters for its handling of the crisis. The issue has become particularly contentious in the wake of Brexit, as some have argued that it shows the weaknesses of the UK’s new immigration system.
Following the meeting, Sunak tweeted that he was “pleased” to have had the opportunity to discuss the issue with Macron, and that the two leaders had “reaffirmed their commitment to working together to tackle illegal migration.” He added that the UK would continue to “support France in its efforts to combat the smuggling networks that facilitate these dangerous journeys.”
The meeting was seen as an important moment in the continuing relationship between the UK and France, and an indication of the challenges that both countries face in dealing with cross-border issues in the post-Brexit era. Some commentators speculated that it could lead to closer cooperation in other areas, such as trade and security, as the two countries seek to build a stronger relationship in the years ahead.