Under pressure over the record number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats and arriving in Britain, Sunak met Macron at the COP27 climate summit, their first in-person meeting since Sunak became prime minister on October 25.
Relations between Britain and France had soured, first under Boris Johnson and then only to worsen when Sunak’s immediate predecessor, Liz Truss, questioned whether Macron was friend or foe during her campaign to become prime minister.
Sunak wants to reset ties and described the meeting as great and an opportunity to work closely with France and other countries to tackle illegal migration, which has seen large numbers of migrants arrive in southern England in recent years.
“You will hear more details about that in the coming weeks, as those conversations happen amongst all our teams,” he told reporters in Egypt.
“I’m actually leaving this with renewed confidence and optimism that working together with our European partners, we can make a difference, grip this challenge of illegal migration and stop people coming illegally.”