UK has not set a timeline for migration deal with France - PM's spokesman

COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has not set a deadline for agreeing a deal with France to curb the number of migrants illegally crossing the English Channel, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said on Tuesday.

Sunak expressed optimism on Monday about working with France to tackle illegal migration and his spokesman said the two nations were close to a deal to tackle the surge in migrants reaching southern England on small boats.

Asked if a deal is expected before Christmas, Sunak's spokesman said: "We haven't set a timeline. The focus is on securing the right sort of cooperation, which works for both sides."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout)