After receiving a ‘unacceptable’ letter, France is furious and cancels talks with the United Kingdom on migrant issues.
Following a “unacceptable” letter from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, France canceled planned discussions with the UK on migrant crossings on Friday, bringing relations to new lows after 27 people perished in the Channel.
The outrage in Paris was spurred by Johnson’s decision to send a letter to Macron on Thursday evening proposing ways to prevent migrants from crossing the French-British border, and then to publish the letter in its entirety on his Twitter account.
“When methods aren’t serious, they surprise me. On Twitter, by public letter… one leader does not connect with another on these issues… Macron said during a press conference in Rome, “No, No.”
Following a series of disagreements over Brexit, relations between the two neighbors were already at their most hostile in decades, but Johnson’s personal critique represents a further deterioration.
According to analysts, a lack of confidence and goodwill will make it more difficult to coordinate a response to the growing number of individuals attempting to cross the tiny but hazardous waterway that separates the two countries.
Priti Patel, the British equivalent to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, was informed that she was no longer invited to talks with other European ministers at the weekend.
Darmanin informed Patel in a message seen by AFP that the letter was a “disappointment” and that “making it public made it even worse.” As a result, I’m canceling our Sunday meeting in Calais.” “We regard the British Prime Minister’s public letter as unacceptable and contradictory to the negotiations we had with our counterparts,” a French source close to Darmanin told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Following an accident on Wednesday in which 27 people drowned when their inflatable boat sank, Johnson said that he had “long been terribly anxious” about a tragedy in the English Channel and that “such a calamity has now occurred.”
In addition to reiterating a request to send British security officers to France for joint patrols — a sensitive issue for Macron — he also asked France to begin returning all migrants who land in England immediately.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM TV that the letter was “threadbare in its substance and absolutely unsuitable in its manner.”
He went on to say that returning migrants to France “is definitely not what we need to address this situation.”
“You might now ask Boris Johnson if he regrets quitting Europe because he believes any problem to be Europe’s. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.