Small boats: France to get more money, says James wisely

  • By Chris Mason & Kate Vannell
  • BBC News

image caption,

Rishi Sunak on the train to Paris

France will receive more money to stop small boats crossing the Channel, Foreign Secretary James Wise said ahead of an Anglo-French summit.

Mr. Brilliant Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has gone to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.

There will be a small boat crossing agenda and conflict in Ukraine.

A deal on the return of migrants from the UK to France is not expected.

However, asked if the UK planned to give more money to France to help police French beaches – where most of the small boats go from – Mr Wise said: “It costs money, it costs money.”

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said the two countries would discuss how to fund joint ventures, but would not speculate on the outcome of those talks.

The Times newspaper reported Britain to give France £200m over three years

Last year, the UK agreed to give France £8m a year to increase surveillance of French beaches.

The British government believes the money sent to France to increase patrols has been well spent and wants to go further.

But both London and Paris agree there will be no deal to bring back migrants who have reached Britain to France.

The French government is thought to want a deal between the UK and the EU, disappointing British diplomats who want to see swift action.

“But it’s equally important to have work on the ground now to stop the intersections we’re seeing even in these winter months.”

A French government source said: “At this stage, and because of Brexit, there is no deal between France and the UK.”

Labor said the lack of a new deal to return migrants to France was a “complete failure”.

Mr Sunak and Mr Macron are expected to meet for around half an hour.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Environment Secretary Therese Coffey.

Under the plans, anyone who entered the country illegally would not only be removed from the UK within 28 days, but would also be barred from returning to or claiming British citizenship in the future.

Those arriving on UK shores will be returned to their home country or another “safe third country” such as Rwanda.

The British government feels that relations with their opposite numbers in Paris on this issue have improved significantly over the past two years.

But Downing Street’s desire to “make small boat passage across the Channel impossible” is a bold ambition – especially as the numbers to the contrary continue to rocket.

So far this year, about 3,000 people have arrived in small boats, but the two governments say their joint work has stopped a similar number from starting the journey.

Rather than a major breakthrough, an announcement of deeper cooperation on the issue is expected.

“Beyond that, the UK and France have a privileged role as guardians of European and global security.”

Officials point out that both the UK and France are nuclear powers, members of the G7, G20 and NATO security alliances and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Brexit has been a stumbling block in the relationship between the UK and France in recent years.

Both London and Paris are keen to emphasize their closeness on many issues, not just Ukraine.

The Prime Minister and the President will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon and issue a joint statement.

It’s a month of particularly intense activity between the two countries – King Charles and the Queen Consort will arrive in France in a few weeks.

Next year marks the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordial, which ended centuries of rivalry between the two countries.

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