Emmanuel Macron and Rishi Sunak meet for the first time at COP27

They have already exchanged a phone call, the time to discuss better cooperation against illegal canal crossings. But Emmanuel Macron and the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, have never seen each other face to face. The first time will be on Monday on the occasion of COP27, where the two leaders will be able to deepen the discussion on a theme that seems to have formed the heart of the relationship between Paris and London for some time.

During their telephone conversation, the head of the British government had “stressed the importance for the two countries of making the Channel route completely impassable for people smugglers”, his services said. In a column published Sunday in the newspaper Mail on SundayUK Home Secretary Suella Braverman says she is working with her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin “to build stronger cooperation and make better use of UK surveillance technologies”.

Rishi Sunak more conciliatory?

The same newspaper reports that Britain hopes to sign an agreement on this explosive subject “in the coming weeks”. Almost 40,000 people have already successfully crossed the canal on small boats since the start of the year, already far more than the record in 2021.

After a period of tension between London and Paris, the government of Rishi Sunak, who became prime minister amid a serious political crisis following the resignations of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, one after the other, appears to be adopting a more conciliatory tone towards France.

Thus, during his telephone conversation with Emmanuel Macron, the head of the British government emphasized “the importance of the relationship between Great Britain and France, neighbor and ally” and said that he “looks forward to” a bilateral summit next year. , according to his spokesman. For his part, the French president mentioned his “availability” to “deepen the bilateral relationship” in the “areas of defense, strategic affairs and energy,” the Elysée reported, without naming the subject.

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