French business creation surges as Macron promises 'start-up nation'


The city is the closest point between France and Britain, with two cross-Channel transport systems, the Eurotunnel and ferries.

Macron himself visited a centre for migrants in Croisilles, northern France, in the morning, ahead of his speech to security forces.

According to a source at the Élysée, the prime minister has bowed to French pressure and at the British-Franco summit at Sandhurst will hear demands that the United Kingdom "accept more lone child migrants and to accept them faster", and that the nation welcome immigrants with "a legitimate case to join family members" in Britain.

A leading immigration expert, Patrick Weil, defended the Touquet Accords in an interview with The Associated Press, saying they are in the interests of both Britain and France.

Improving the "handling of migrants in Calais" is on the agenda.

Negotiations over changes to the accords are in progress, including creation of a French-British team to handle cases of migrants with "legitimate" reasons to go to Britain, according to a top official in Macron's office who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The French president will also use Tuesday's visit to defend his government's uncompromising attitude ahead of a new immigration law that will seek to clamp down on illegal arrivals while opening up legal avenues for asylum seekers.

"Calais has become an impasse", Macron said in a speech in the city on Tuesday.

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The move is in line with Macron's pre-election pledge to renegotiate the treaty.

Mr Macron added that the French state is going to handle food distribution for migrants in the same way that it is already providing health care.

"I no longer want us to delegate food aid to associations that use it to keep alive false information", he said during a discussion with local officials.

"(The situation) is catastrophic" because migrants have no rights to pitch tents now, said Francois Guennoc of the aid group Auberge des Migrants, which also declined to meet with Macron.

Mr Macron said: "I can not let the idea spread that some police forces use physical violence, confiscate personal belongings, wake up people in the middle of the night and use tear gas on water points when meals are distributed".

Mr Macron met with charities as well as migrants, although two NGOs refused his invitation over policing measures created to stop another makeshift camp forming. Many stay only briefly in such centres and quickly resume efforts to sneak across the Channel.

"Everyone needs to know [that] everything is being done to prevent the illegal passage [of migrants] to Britain", Macron said.