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Emmanuel Macron has responded angrily to Boris Johnson’s public call for France to accept migrants who arrive in the United Kingdom following the deaths of 27 Channel migrants on Wednesday

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The French President accused the UK Prime Minister of not being “serious” by making the call on Twitter.

His spokesman also accused Mr. Johnson of “doublespeak” for saying something different to Mr. Macron privately.

The diplomatic spat erupted after France declined to invite Home Secretary Priti Patel to a summit.

Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the European Commission are expected to attend the Calais talks on Sunday, which Mr. Macron convened to address the recent surge in migrant crossings across the Channel.

Grant Shapps, UK Transport Secretary, said that France should re-invite Ms. Patel “This is a problem that no single country can solve on its own. “I hope the French reconsider [rejecting Ms. Patel’s invitation].” ” It is in our best interests. It is in their best interests. With the tragic scenes we’re seeing – people losing their lives – it’s certainly in the interests of people who are being trafficked to the UK.”

The sinking of an inflatable boat in the English Channel on Wednesday resulted in the largest loss of life by drowning in many years, with 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children dying.

Mr. Johnson outlined five steps to avoid a repeat of the tragedy in a letter to Mr. Macron on Thursday, which was shared on Twitter, ahead of the meeting on Sunday:

  • Maritime patrols in each other’s territorial waters and airborne surveillance • Deepening the work of the countries’ joint intelligence cell • Immediate work on a bilateral returns agreement with France, alongside talks to establish a UK-EU returns agreement

“A deal with France to return migrants who cross the Channel via this perilous route would have an immediate and significant impact,” Mr. Johnson said.

The sinking on Wednesday was the deadliest drowning in the English Channel on record.

Gérald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister, reacted angrily, saying: “We consider the British Prime Minister’s public letter to be unacceptable and contrary to our partner discussions… Priti Patel is no longer invited as a result.”

A French government spokesman added that the letter “does not correspond at all” with the discussions Mr. Johnson and Mr. Macron had on Wednesday, adding, “We are sick of double-speak.”

Mr. Macron used a press conference on Friday morning to criticize the UK’s handling of the crisis, saying, “The right response is serious cooperation, to stop these movements, to dismantle the trafficking networks, and to prevent these men and women from arriving on our soil because by then it’s already too late.”

He also slammed Mr. Johnson for tweeting the prime minister’s letter to the French government, saying, “I spoke with Prime Minister Johnson in a serious way two days ago.”

For my part, I will continue to do so, as I will with all countries and leaders. “I’m surprised by methods that aren’t serious.” “We do not communicate on these issues from one leader to another through public tweets and letters. We do not consider ourselves whistleblowers.”

The UK insists that the prime minister’s letter was genuine and intended to be constructive rather than combative.

However, the French suspect that the letter was intended more for Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party than for Paris.

The French believe Mr. Johnson is now in an awkward position with his supporters, having promised that Brexit would mean “regaining control” of the UK’s waters and borders.

Also read: More people arrive Channel by boats after 27 drowned

The British government maintains that the letter was sent in good faith.

Paris believes that such a sensitive issue as migration, particularly between France and the post-Brexit UK, should be handled with caution and away from the spotlight.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds of Labour accused the prime minister of making a “grave error of judgment” in sending the letter.

“This is an embarrassment for a prime minister and a home secretary who have completely lost control of the situation in the Channel, just when the prime minister needed to be a statesman.”

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, a member of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, said, “The French have got to get real and recognize there are consequences to turning a blind eye rather than stopping the migrant boats at the source, and those consequences are tragedies like the one-two days ago.”

Collaboration, not petulance, is the only way to find a solution.”

According to French sources, the head of France’s border police anti-smuggling unit met with UK officials on Friday at the British embassy in Paris.

According to reports from Calais, the two survivors of the Channel sinking – one Iraqi and the other Somali – have been released from the hospital and will be questioned about how many people were on the boat.

President Macron stated that France would seek “additional assistance” from the British because, despite being told that they would be able to stay in France, the migrants desired to travel to the United Kingdom.

The UK agreed in July to pay France €62.7 million (£54 million) to help secure the borders, but the number of people crossing has continued to rise.

Mr. Macron stated that 1,552 smugglers have been arrested in northern France since the beginning of the year, and 44 smuggler networks have been dismantled.

Despite this, he stated that 47,000 attempted Channel crossings to the UK occurred this year, with 7,800 people rescued.


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