Rishi Sunak meets Macron to announce multimillion-pound deal with France to stop small boat crisis | The Sun

RISHI Sunak met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris this morning ahead of announcing a multi-million pound deal to end the small boats crisis.

The world leaders smiled and shook hands outside the grand Elysee Palace before heading inside for crunch talks on the migrant crisis, Ukraine war and energy security.

This afternoon the PM is expected to announce a mega £200 million deal with France to end dangerous channel crossings.

Mr Sunak will spend the cash on police, intelligence and security to stop migrants "at source" and prevent them making the perilous journey from Calais to Dover.

The money is expected to be handed to Paris as part of a three-year deal.

The agreement, which will include hundreds of extra French police patrolling beaches, aims to "break" the business model of people smuggling gangs.

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Deeper co-operation on intelligence sharing and investment in drones is also understood to be part of the pact.

The proposals aim to boost the interception rate of small boats from 42% last year to 75%.

Once it hits this level it should destroy the business model of the gangs.

Joining Mr Sunak at the Franco-British summit is Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Transport Secretary Mark Harper, Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey, Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps and Investment Minister Dominic Johnson.


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The ministers will meet with their French equivalents throughout today.

The summit is kicked off this morning with one-to-one talks between Mr Sunak and Mr Macron.

The pair will then host a trade and investment forum before meeting with young leaders from the Franco-British council.

A major press conference announcing the small boats deal is due to commence at 2pm.

The PM is keen to break from the style his predecessor Liz Truss and take a more friendly approach approach to relations with France.

Cooperation between the two states frayed when Ms Truss said “the jury is still out” as to whether Mr Macron is a “friend or foe”.

A key message at this year's summit, which was last held in 2018, is that the UK’s relationship with France is "defined by our mutual history, our proximity and our shared global outlook".

Ministers will stress the alliance is a "necessary pre-requisite for our prosperity and our security".

Mr Sunak said: “Our deep history, our proximity and our shared global outlook mean that a firm partnership between the UK and France is not just valuable, it is essential.

“From tackling the scourge of illegal migration to driving investment in one another’s economies the work we do together improves the lives of each and every person in our countries.

“As we face new and unprecedented threats, it is vital that we fortify the structures of our alliance so we are ready to take on the challenges of the future."

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Today's talks follow Mr Sunak's major announcement on Monday that anyone who comes to Britain by small boat will be banned from ever claiming asylum in the UK.

Under the Illegal Migration Bill, illegal arrivals will be swiftly detained and deported to either their country of origin or a safe third state within 28 days.

Only under-18s and the sick will be allowed to stay in the UK until they are well again or hit 18.

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Migrants who want to challenge their removal in courts will have to do so from abroad.

In January the PM listed "stopping the boats" as one of the five pledges that will define his premiership.

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