France, UK sign deal to improve border controls

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In a boost to Macron, Britain is throwing its backing behind the European Intervention Initiative, a multinational European military force that the French president has proposed.

He said: "Mr. Tusk and I once again reached out to the British government yesterday and said that if the British people, the British parliament, the British government, wish for another way than Brexit, we would be prepared to discuss it".

Macron arrived at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire earlier on Thursday for the Anglo-French summit, with Brexit and migrants top of the agenda.

Norway is not in the European Union but enjoys full access to the single market in exchange for contributions to the bloc's budget and abiding by Brussels rules.

"I think the City of London will continue to be a major global financial centre".

The announcement came as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron held a bilateral summit Thursday meant to strengthen security and intelligence ties between the neighboring nations, and to build goodwill as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday (Jan 18) she was honoured that France will lend Britain the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th century treasure that tells the story of William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066.

May treated the French leader to a pub lunch of crab and duck breast, followed by a serving of British military pomp.

Senior ministers from the two countries attended the one-day meeting, and signed agreements on everything from space exploration to tackling online extremism.

Britain will pay tens of millions of pounds (dollars) toward border security in and support French military missions as part of moves to bind the countries closer together after Brexit.

In exchange for three UK Chinook helicopters being sent to Africa's Sahel region to assist French counter-terror efforts, Mr Macron has pledged French troops to a UK-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battlegroup in Estonia in the face of Russian aggression.

Amid a sudden hailstorm, Macron and May inspected the honor guard before taking a salute from soldiers on horseback. France has led efforts to fight al-Qaida and IS-linked jihadi groups in the vast region south of the Sahara desert.

The leaders of Britain and France have met against a military backdrop, with the United Kingdom promising to help boost border security in France and support French military missions as part of moves to bind the countries closer together after Brexit. France and Britain have both faced a string of violent attacks by extremists inspired or directed by the Islamic State group.

"The objective of the new treaty is a profound change to speed up the asylum procedure for persons who are in a position to request [asylum], and likely to be accepted in the United Kingdom for family reasons, and unaccompanied minors", the sources said. He also wants a common European defense budget and security doctrine.

Meanwhile, France has pledged to send more troops to bolster a British battalion in Estonia amid tensions between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Russian Federation.

Macron is also expected to announce the possible loan of the 950-year-old Bayeux Tapestry to Britain under a programme of exchanges of artworks between the two nations. "It will go on display at an unspecified British venue in 2022".

The treaty, French officials said, will "complement" but not replace the 2003 Le Touquet deal.

Macron says the border issue "is a common challenge and we shall succeed together".