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Starmer tells Macron he wants to strengthen Franco-British ties if Labor wins power – POLITICO

LONDON — Labor leader Keir Starmer has told Emmanuel Macron his intention to improve relations between London and Paris if the opposition party comes to power in Britain.

Britain’s opposition leader met the French president in Paris on Tuesday, as he tries to build on his international reputation and establish ties with foreign leaders. Starmer has a large lead in the polls over current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of a general election expected next year.

Speaking after his During his meeting with Macron, Starmer told Sky News that the closed-door talks had been his first opportunity to say how much he values ​​the relationship between France and the UK.

“We had a very political discussion, covering many issues relating to world politics,” Starmer said. “But it was also an opportunity to think about future prosperity, future security, some of the most pressing issues that concern me and the president, and to discuss ideas about how we can improve relations between our two countries.”

Starmer said he told Macron he intended to “build on that relationship and make it even stronger than it is today”.

As part of his global outreach, Starmer has already traveled to The Hague in Switzerland to discuss cooperation on migration, and attended a gathering of center-left leaders in Montreal this weekend.

In Montreal, the Labor leader told the FT he wanted to secure a major renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union. Any changes to the deal struck by Boris Johnson in 2020 would require Macron’s cooperation.

The president and the prime ministerial candidate exchanged gifts during the meeting. Starmer, a die-hard Gunners fan, gave Macron an Arsenal Football Club t-shirt, while the president gave Starmer a pair of cufflinks emblazoned with the Elysée logo.

Clea Caulcutt contributed reporting.