UK to Pay Millions to Keep France Border Agreement

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Britain is agreeing to pay 44.5 million pounds ($62 million) for security cameras and other measures in Calais and nearby English Channel ports. France also wants Britain to take in more migrants from Calais.

The U.K. also says it will send three Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters and dozens of personnel to join France’s military mission against Islamic militants in Africa’s Sahel region. 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 the five main U.K. and French spy agencies are also meeting for the first time Thursday, as the two countries seek to increase intelligence-sharing. France and Britain have both faced a string of violent attacks by extremists inspired or directed by the Islamic State group.

May said the U.K.-French summit “will underline that we remain committed to defending our people and upholding our values as liberal democracies in the face of any threat, whether at home or abroad.”

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 also wants a common European defense budget and security doctrine.

The plan is in its early stages, but British officials don’t see it as an “EU army,” an idea on which the U.K. has long been cool.

In return, France will send troops to join a U.K.-led NATO battle group in Estonia in 2019, aimed at countering an increasingly assertive Russia.

Macron, on his first visit to Britain since winning the presidency in May 2017, also bears news that France will loan Britain the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th-century panorama depicting the Norman conquest of England.

The medieval masterpiece depicts a key moment in British history — one with particular resonance as Britain prepares to leave the EU.

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