rfi

On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live

Brexit European Union Migration France United Kingdom

Issued on • Modified

May, Cazeneuve discuss migrants, post-Brexit relations in London

media
Theresa May and Bernard Cazeneuve at 10 Downing Street on Friday Reuters/Toby Melville

British Prime Minister Theresa May promised close cooperation with France on security and defence after Brexit when she met France's Bernard Cazeneuve on Friday. But not on migration, apparently, as Westminster declares it will only accept 350 of the children from the Calais Jungle migrant camp who are still fighting to enter the UK.


"The prime minister was clear that while the UK is leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe," a Downing Street statement said. "They [the two prime ministers] agreed on the need to maintain our close cooperation on security and defence, including through Nato."

Cazeneuve called for a "clear method" for negotiating Brexit once Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty is triggered, probably before the end of March.

"Then, once the terms have been clearly discussed and negotiated, we can talk about the new relationship," he told the media.

With Cazeneuve anxious about the status of the 300,000 French nationals currently living in Britain, May's statement promised "an early agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU".

Migrant minors cold-shouldered

But French sources said that Cazeneuve called for Britain to reexamine the cases of the thousands of minors who are trying to be admitted to its territory from France.

The UK government last week said it would accept a further 350, far below the 3,000 figure initially floated, causing dismay among NGOs who point out that many of the applicants' families have already crossed the Channel.

The Jungle was closed at the end of last year and its residents sent to centres across France.

The two prime ministers also discussed unrest in Syria and Ukraine, migration and terrorism.

To see A history of the Jungle in pictures click here