France Threatens Brexit Deal Unless UK Takes More Calais Migrants

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Emmanuel Macron will demand the UK gives more money toward policing migrants and takes more in from Calais by threatening to withdraw France’s support for a post-Brexit trade deal.

The French president wants to review the so-called Le Touquet agreement, signed in 2003, which allows Britain to have its border on the French side of the English Channel.

He is expected to demand the UK accepts family reunifications and takes “lone child migrants” who are staying in the notorious camp in Northern France, as well as giving more cash on top of the €140 million handed over by the UK over three years, Le Monde reports.

French officials also want to be able to carry out border checks on both sides of the Channel in the future. According to French government sources, Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to capitulate at least on the issue of money.

The newspaper says that Mr. Macron will visit police in Calais, as well as the town’s mayor and elected officials, to discuss the “main principles governing its migration policy” in coming days before he travels to the UK on Thursday to meet Mrs. May.

Around a thousand migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and other nations continue to live illegally in Calais, despite repeated attempts to clear camps from the area.

Gérard Collomb, France’s interior minister, told Le Parisien over the weekend: “I want to come up with an additional protocol in these agreements, and concrete measures regarding the coverage of certain costs by the UK and the management of more people, for receiving refugees and unaccompanied minors.”

France will attempt to help refugees “but cannot take in economic migrants”, Mr. Collomb added.

Mr. Macron and Mrs. May are set to meet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Berkshire, with Brexit and immigration high on the agenda. An Elysée Palace statement said that “ways to improve the handling of migrants on the common border in Calais” will be discussed.

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