Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sunak and Macron sign their partnership in Paris after five years of disputes over Brexit

Daniel PosticoLondon 11/03/2023 07:45h.

Macron and Sunak in a historic bilateral ParisGetty

  • Sunak returns to the annual Franco-British summit in Paris five years after the last meeting and shakes hands with Macron

  • The prime minister has great chemistry with the French president and the tensions that Brexit and Johnson are burying.

  • In addition to leaving France, he announces that he will fight the massive illegal arrivals, but does not give permission to repatriate them to his country.

  • Relations between France and the United Kingdom seem to have entered a new era after Rishi Sunak came to power, according to what could be seen in the meeting held this Friday in Paris. First, because this annual bilateral summit was held for the first time in five years, since the arrival of Boris Johnson and with the most difficult years of Brexit, and also because of the chemistry between the two leaders. This summit was established for the first time in 1976 with the aim of increasing relations between the neighboring countries in all their aspects. This Friday was its thirty-sixth edition. The previous one happened on British soil in January 2018 when Theresa May was prime minister and was trying to implement a soft Brexit.

    Perhaps Johnson and Brexit have been the most tense years between the two countries since Paris and London signed the so-called Entente Cordiale in 1904, a non-aggression pact that ended the expansion of the two colonial powers. a thousand years ago and the war began in 1066 with William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion of England. During the British-European Brexit negotiations, Macron was a tougher European leader on the UK. The fishing dispute between France and the United Kingdom was the last obstacle to closing the final Brexit deal. There was no chemistry between Macron and Johnson, in fact they were repulsed. The most telling picture was produced at the 2019 NATO summit, with Macron deliberately avoiding Johnson.

    This Friday in Paris saw another kind of relationship, more natural, more sincere, with Macron referring to Sunak as “Caram Rishi” (my dear Rishi) and Sunak to Macron as “mon ami” (my friend). With his arrival, Sunak opted for another method of rapprochement and sound with Brussels, softer and more pragmatic, which was already resolved with the new agreement reached in Northern Ireland two weeks ago and which left the British region within Europe. and the British market, which Johnson could not achieve permanent defiance. Now Sunak has approached Macron in the same way, his main enemy in Europe, who has come from Britain accused of deliberately harming the country as a penalty for leaving the European Union (EU).

    Dublin Pact

    At the Paris summit this Friday, Sunak was accompanied by foreign, interior, defense and energy ministers as well as business leaders. Three main issues were discussed: immigration, energy, cooperation and the response to the Russian threat. The most serious issue that burned Sunak’s hands was undoubtedly the massive influx of undocumented immigrants from France. Macron and Sunak agreed to greater cooperation on both sides and Sunak announced the delivery of an extra 479 million pounds (552 million euros) to France to improve protection and also to spend on a refugee center on French soil.

    However, Sunak did not extract an agreement from Macron to allow undocumented immigrants who come from France to England to return to France. Sunak responded to a question from the press in an interview. Macron hinted that the only way was through a bilateral agreement between the EU and the UK. The treaty replaced the Dublin Convention that entered into force in 1997 and was EU law for regular asylum applications between member states based on the Refugee Convention, signed in 1951 in Geneva. Sunak’s policy on illegal immigrants is the only respect in which he does not differ from Johnson. In fact, he made plans to deport all undocumented Britons to third parties. In Britain, Sunak was accused of popular and electoral law. The United Nations says it is wrong. It does not affect France.

    Another goal for Ukraine

    Where Sunak and Johnson clearly differ is the position taken with respect to the war in Ukraine. He is closer to Macron, who is in favor of fighting at the negotiating table. Sunak also placed himself in this direction. While Johnson, a great friend of Zelensky, defeated the Russians in the battle, so there was no doubt who was the winner. On Friday, the two Russian commanders agreed to continue arming and training until Ukraine reaches a state of peace.

    The third and last thing was the huge collaboration between the two countries. Energy ministers have agreed to expand the electricity connection between the two countries (currently 4 gigawatts) by two-thirds, to increase cooperation in nuclear energy and in CO2 capture and storage, which the UK hopes will be the main energy source in the North Sea from 2030. This Friday’s summit It is the beginning of a new era between the two countries, the post-Brexit era. But the UK needs a good relationship with France and the EU to repair the damage done to the country by Brexit.

    Nation World News Desk
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