France cancels meeting with the United Kingdom over Johnson’s letter on the crisis in the English Channel

He emphasizes that the letter is “inadmissible”, while London asks Paris to “reconsider” their position


The Government of France announced this Friday the cancellation of the scheduled meeting between the French Minister of the Interior, GĂ©rald Darmanin, and his British counterpart, Pitri Patel, following the letter published late Thursday by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson , on the migration crisis in the English Channel.

Johnson published a letter on the social network Twitter in which he proposed to the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, joint maritime patrols to prevent the vessels from leaving the French shores or an agreement that “allows to return all illegal immigrants who cross the channel “and reach British shores.

“We consider the public letter of the British prime minister as inadmissible and contrary to our discussions between peers,” said the French Interior Ministry, as reported by the French daily ‘Le Parisien’.

“Therefore, Pitri Patel is no longer invited on Sunday to the interministerial meeting to be held in a format with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the European Commission,” he added, in a new sample of bilateral tensions on this issue.

Likewise, the French government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, has emphasized in an interview with the French station BFMTV that Johnson’s letter is “destitute in substance and out of place in terms of form.”

Attal has stressed that the letter “does not respect all the work done by the coast guard, our police officers, our gendarmes, who mobilize every day” and pointed out that these efforts have prevented 7,800 migrants from crossing the English Channel so far. of year.

In this sense, he has stated that the resettlement proposal “is not the solution” and has reiterated that “it is necessary for the British to send protection officers to examine the asylum claims that concern them.”

The spokesman for the French Executive has explained that the authorities of the European country send these officials to places like Malta and Italy to analyze the asylum requests that concern the country among the migrants who arrived in these countries from North Africa.

On the other hand, Attal has criticized the “double standard” of the British authorities and has accused London of resorting to the “permanent outsourcing of problems”.

In response, the British Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, defended the letter during the day in an interview with the BBC television network and argued that “friends and neighbors” have to work together.

“No nation can cope with this on its own. I hope the French will reconsider. It is in our interest. It is in their interest. It is certainly in the interest of the people who are trafficked into the UK, with the tragic scenes that we are seeing and with people losing their lives, “he argued.

Johnson’s letter proposed a plan to “go further and faster” in actions against migrant crossings through the English Channel, including the deployment of “more advanced” technology – including ground sensors and radars. – and “reciprocal aerial surveillance with manned and unmanned aircraft, perhaps flying under a joint insignia”.

The British prime minister also asked to deepen the work of the Joint Intelligence Cell with a “better exchange of information in real time” to carry out “arrests and prosecutions on both sides of the channels.”

In addition, he wrote a series of messages on Twitter in which he insisted that “quickly returning” migrants arriving irregularly in the UK “would significantly reduce the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of smugglers.” .

A British delegation was scheduled to travel to Paris on Friday to hold talks with the French Government, while Patel was going to go to Calais on Sunday, off whose coast some thirty people who were trying to cross to the United Kingdom died this week. an event that has led countries to consider new measures in the face of the migration crisis.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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