NY Today News
NY Today News: Your Daily Dose of Local and Global Headlines

Starmer wraps up foreign mini-tour with visit to Macron in Paris

Keir Starmer has completed his international mini-tour by meeting Emmanuel Macron in Paris for symbolically significant if low-key talks that skirted around specifics of Brexit or migration policy.

After discussions in The Hague with EU law enforcement officials, and weekend meetings with Justin Trudeau and others in Montreal, the Labour leader held 45 minutes of one-to-one talks with the French president at the Élysée Palace.

Given the protocols of an elected leader meeting an opposition leader, neither side produced an official readout of the meeting, although Starmer told reporters it had been “very constructive and positive”.

Starmer had heralded the visit with a newspaper interview promising that a Labour government would seek significant rewrites of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal when it reaches a review point in 2025. But this was only a tangential part of the discussions, as was any plan to cooperate over asylum and migration.

“They didn’t really discuss Brexit or immigration in any depth,” an Élysée source said.

The source said the meeting, the first time the men had met beyond an encounter at the Queen’s funeral last year, “could be described as warm and engaging”.

“They discussed a range of subjects from the economy, energy security, support for Ukraine and touched on strengthening France and the UK’s bilateral partnership as well as the likelihood of another Trump-like presidency in the US and their vision of China,” the source said.

“They evoked the importance of reinforcement cooperation between France and the UK so this partnership continues to bring prosperity and security to the French and British.”

The men also exchanged gifts, with Macron giving Starmer cufflinks with the logo of the French Republic, and Starmer giving the president an Arsenal shirt with “Macron” on the back and the number 25, as he is the 25th president.

skip past newsletter promotion

In a brief TV interview after the talks, Starmer, who was accompanied in Paris by Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, and David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said he and Macron had “a very political discussion covering a lot of issues”.

“It was my first opportunity to say how much I value the relationship between our two countries, particularly when it comes to prosperity and security and how, if we are privileged enough to be elected into power, we intend to build on that relationship and make it even stronger than it is today,” he said, refusing to say if he believed Macron hoped for a Labour win in the next general election.

News Source