Emmanuel Macron has hit out at the “consequences of Brexit” as France and the UK unveiled a new agreement to tackle small boats cross the Channel.
The French president said the effects of quitting the EU had been “under-estimated” before the 2016 referendum.
He made his comments as he stood alongside Rishi Sunak – who backed the Vote Leave campaign.
The pair held a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace following a summit in Paris.
Under the terms of the new deal, the UK will give France nearly half a billion pounds over the next three years in an attempt to stop the flow of asylum seekers trying to get the Britain.
It follows the government’s publication of its Illegal Migration Bill, which aims to deport all illegal migrants and ban them from ever settling in the UK.
But Macron suggested the problem had come about partly as a result of the vote to leave the EU.
Asked whether the relationship between the UK and France can ever be the same after Brexit, Macron said: “This is my wish. But it depends on what we will do in the coming months and years.
“On the short front what we have to do is to fix the consequences of Brexit.
“A lot of issues we have are a direct consequence of Brexit and probably some of these consequences were under-estimated, but we have to fix them.”
Sunak told the Paris press conference: “I always say, we left the EU but we didn’t leave Europe. Emmanuel said previously ‘Brexit didn’t change geography’.
“We want to have a close, co-operative, collaborative relationship with our European partners and allies. And of course, that starts with our nearest neighbour, France, and today is the first step on that journey.
“We’re writing a new chapter in this relationship, and I’m really looking forward to everything that we can build on in the coming months and years ahead.”