France and UK pledge to deepen cooperation on borders security and defence

On 18 January, French president Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May signed the Sandhurst treaty on migration control and border security, which aims to improve management of the France-UK border by preventing migrants in Calais from illegally crossing the Channel. Macron and May also reached an agreement on military and intelligence cooperation.

May promised a €50 million investment in fences, security cameras and other measures in Calais to improve border control. The treaty also provides faster care by UK authorities for unaccompanied migrant children from France, as Macron called for a more human approach.  As part of defence cooperation, Macron and May announced the creation of a joint force of up to 10,000 troops by 2020. May promised to send three Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters in support of French military operations in the Sahel while Macron announced France will increase its troop contribution to the UK-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Estonia to 800 by 2019. Both French and British intelligence agencies agreed on deeper cooperation to face the increasing terrorist threat, the two countries being prime IS targets. The UK also confirmed its commitment to the European Intervention Initiative proposed by Macron, which aims to integrate EU’s armed forces more deeply.

About author: Martin Macq


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