That payment has rankled some members of Mrs. May’s Conservative Party, but may not go far enough for French officials, who are pressing Britain to admit more migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors. During his election campaign, Mr. Macron suggested renegotiating or scrapping the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which established British border controls in Calais, but he has not raised the issue as bluntly lately.
Thursday’s agreements are likely to be used by Mrs. May to illustrate her argument that Britain “may be leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe.” For Mr. Macron, cooperation on defense with Britain — Western Europe’s only other significant military power — is important to bolster the credibility of European foreign policy. For both sides, antiterrorism and intelligence cooperation is vital.
Yet analysts say there is a limited area of common interest, and even that is shrinking because of Brexit. Mrs. May’s hopes of achieving a favorable trade deal with the European Union have so far won little sympathy in France, which is keen to lure banks and other businesses from Britain.
Paris has already won the right to host the bloc’s banking authority, which will move from London. In recent months the mayor of the struggling northern French city of Lille and the presidents of two French regions, Hauts-de-France and Île de France, have traveled to London to promote the advantages of moving to France, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
With Mrs. May leading a weak and divided government that is preoccupied by Brexit, and with Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, still trying to assemble a new coalition government, Mr. Macron has emerged as Europe’s leading political player on the international stage.
Moreover, Mr. Macron has branded himself as a centrist pro-European, a fierce opponent of the populist right and a critic of many of the ideas behind Brexit, Mrs. May’s defining political objective.
That means that on the one thing Mrs. May really needs — help in securing a favorable post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union — Mr. Macron is unlikely to offer much, if anything.
“Macron is part of a generation that has a sort of indifference to the United Kingdom,” said Vivien Pertusot, an expert on Franco-British relations at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales, a research organization. “He’s young. He hasn’t known the fraternity and rivalry that animated relations for an earlier generation.”
Mr. Macron has rarely mentioned Britain in speeches. Despite the various initiatives discussed Thursday, Mr. Pertusot said, “There’s a sort of distance in Franco-British relations, and a desire to re-center relations around the Franco-German partnership.”
“Today, in the Franco-British relationship, there is a little bit of uncertainty about how they will evolve. Post-Brexit, there’s uncertainty about how to work with them, how to cooperate.”
Thursday’s summit was Mr. Macron’s first visit to Britain since his election, but in the meantime the French president has managed his international diplomacy with aplomb, hosting successful meetings both with President Trump and with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Mr. Trump, by contrast, who last winter accepted an invitation for a state visit to Britain, still has not set a date. Just last week he canceled plans to attend the opening of the new United States embassy in London, facing the prospect of mass protests.
The lack of a visit by Mr. Trump is a growing embarrassment for a British government that not only prides itself on its “special relationship” with Washington, but is also hoping for a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States.
As similarly sized neighbors with colonial histories, Britain and France have a long history of rivalry. While there was genuine excitement about the likely loan of the Bayeux Tapestry, there were also some less positive reactions ahead of the summit.
The right-leaning Daily Telegraph expressed concerns that Britain would be “seduced” by the French president, and the pro-Brexit Sun newspaper published a reimagined Bayeux Tapestry — renamed the BYE-EU Tapestry — in which “Brexit frees us from continental shackles.”
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