British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not regret publishing a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter, Downing Street insisted on Friday.
Johnson posted on Twitter a letter to Macron after the French president accused him of failing to take the migrant crisis “seriously”.
My letter to President Macron. pic.twitter.com/vXH0jpxzPo
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 25, 2021
A No 10 spokesperson affirmed that Johnson hoped Macron would “reconsider” the decision to withdraw an invitation to Priti Patel to take part in emergency talks on Sunday.
Last night, Johnson wrote to Macron to set out a five-point package, including a plan – certain to provoke the Elysee Palace – for a “bilateral returns agreement” under which France would be expected to take back any migrants deemed illegal by the UK.
Later on, the French president responded with fury, declaring: “I’m surprised when things are not done seriously. We don’t communicate between leaders via tweets or published letters, we are not whistle-blowers. Come on!”
“We will see, when it comes to the UK, how we can act effectively if they decide to be serious.”
Asked whether Johnson now regretted making his proposal public, the No 10 spokesperson replied “No”.
The Prime Minister believed it right to do so because “the public would rightly want to know what we are looking at in terms of trying to solve this problem”, he said.
Macron has warned Britain that unless it “gets serious,” it would be shut out of discussions on how to stem the tide of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty over the English Channel.
France had previously cancelled an invitation to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend a conference in Calais on the subject, highlighting how tense French relations with Britain have grown, with post-Brexit economic rules and fishing rights also on the line. find out more
“We don’t communicate amongst leaders by tweets or public letters, and we aren’t whistle-blowers, so I’m astonished when things aren’t taken seriously. Please, don’t make me laugh. Come on, you know you want to “Macron stated this at a press conference in Rome.