This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
David Cameron welcomed the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, to Downing Street this morning.
Following the meeting, a Downing Street spokesperson said:
The Prime Minister met the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, at Downing Street this morning. They were joined by the Chancellor for productive discussions, lasting around 45 minutes, focused on the economy, the future of Europe and the battle against ISIL.
On the economy, they discussed their own domestic approaches and the Prime Minister set out steps the UK government has taken to encourage foreign investment and to help businesses expand here. Both leaders agreed on the need for the EU institutions to focus on measures that will stimulate growth and to use the EU budget to support national infrastructure and regeneration projects as well as the need for better regulation at EU level.
They also discussed the challenge of tackling voters’ disillusionment with the European Union and the importance of the EU proving how it can help people across all EU Member States. The Prime Minister raised the issue of free movement and reiterated his view that this should not be an unqualified right. They discussed the measures both countries have already implemented to tackle abuse, and agreed this is an area where Interior Ministers should continue to work together. The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Valls for their co-operation on stronger security measures at Calais and they agreed that more should be done across Europe to reduce the pull factors and to get countries where migrants arrive first to take responsibility for them.
On ISIL, they discussed efforts by the international community to defeat ISIL in both Iraq and Syria and agreed on the importance of pursuing and strengthening defence cooperation. They also discussed how the UK and France could work together to tackle the threat posed by foreign fighters, both in terms of preventing travel and tackling radicalisation at home. The agreed on the importance of European countries sharing best practice on these issues and the need to persuade MEPs to adopt new rules that would enable countries to share more information on passengers travelling between European countries – this would be a vital tool in tackling the threat posed by returning foreign fighters.