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Macron's Calais visit to "sure up popularity" - Dr David Lees

Dr David Lees, of the University of Warwick's School of Modern Languages and Cultures, has provided his analysis of the visit Emmanuel Macron, the French President, to the United Kingdom to hold meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May:

"Emmanuel Macron's visit to the UK is on the surface all about improving Franco-British relations. But the reality is more complicated. Macron, like every President of the current Fifth Republic before him, sees foreign affairs as a way of distracting from domestic concerns and boosting his own image. By talking up the Bayeux tapestry, Macron is positioning himself as an international statesman with a generous disposition.

"Yet Macron is facing discontent at home around his economic plans and it is clear he is deeply concerned about public opinion on immigration. Macron's Calais visit, and his talk of the UK spending more on its border patrols, was designed to hold off any threats to his popularity in his homeland of the Nord pas de Calais. Macron knows he can steal British jobs for the French: his UK trip is just his way of doing so with a smile on his face."