Calais migrants: UK and France sign new treaty

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France and the UK have signed a treaty to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on his first UK visit.

After talks with UK PM Theresa May at Sandhurst military academy, he said the treaty would offer a “more humane approach” and be “more efficient”.

But he suggested France would not bow to UK demands to include financial services in any post-Brexit trade deal.

Mrs May praised the “uniquely close relationship” between the two nations.

She said both leaders remained committed to the “Le Touquet” border agreement in Calais – the UK has announced an extra £44.5m to be spent on beefing up Channel border security.

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Mr Macron said the Sandhurst Treaty signed on Thursday – the first joint treaty on the Calais border in 15 years – would “enable us to improve the relationship and the management of the joint border” and reduce the time taken to process migrants.

It would mean the time taken to process migrants hoping to come to the UK from Calais, would be reduced from six months to one month for adults and 25 days for children.

It “will enable us both to have a more humane approach to these people and to be more efficient” while also encouraging trade through the Channel ports, said the president.

Mrs May said it was in Britain’s national interest, as well as France’s, to commit more resources to Calais security and stressed the two countries’ joint commitments to defence and security measures.

She said a combined joint expeditionary force would be ready to deploy up to 10,000 troops “quickly and effectively to face any threat” by 2020.

Source: bbc