British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits President Emmanuel Macron in Paris today. It is the first summit between the heads of government of the two countries in five years. According to UK correspondent Leah van Buechhoven, the country’s attitude towards the European Union has changed. “Since the departures of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, different winds have blown through 10 Downing Street. So Sunak’s visit is a charm offensive,” says van Beckhoven.
The country’s economy is in tatters. Sunak understands that a good relationship with the European Union is crucial to economic recovery.
Both countries also want to send a signal to Moscow with this visit. France and the United Kingdom are the two military superpowers in Europe and play a crucial role in European support for Ukraine. With this visit, the countries want to show that Russia cannot drive a wedge between them,” says van Beckhoven.
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However, the British visit to the Elysee is not just symbolic. The UK now really wants to put an end to illegal immigration. The country wants to deny any asylum seeker who enters illegally and send them to a country like Rwanda. But this is against international law.”
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So the British prime minister would like to strike an immigration deal with Macron, but Van Beckhoven does not see that happening. France will not accept immigrants from the United Kingdom. At most, Sunak will receive a promise from Macron that France will check its shores more strictly for asylum seekers,” says Van Beekhoven.
The British Parliament will vote on the “ship ban” bill on Monday. It is one of Sunak’s five priorities. ‘I expect the law to be passed. Stopping illegal immigration was one of the main reasons for Brexit. So there is broad support for the law in the country’, the reporter said.
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