On Friday, France’s President Emmanuel Macron 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.
Macron was responding to a letter from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in which Johnson outlined what he believes should be done to prevent migrants from making the risky trek.
Johnson, who has previously stated that France is to blame, demanded in the letter that it agree to joint patrols on its shores and accept the return of migrants who make it to the United Kingdom. find out more
Infuriated by the letter, and especially by the fact that Johnson shared it on Twitter, the French government has cancelled Patel’s invitation to a meeting with EU ministers on Sunday to discuss immigration.
Johnson’s spokesman said the letter was published to tell the public about the government’s actions and that he didn’t regret it, but that he hoped France would reconsider its invitation to the discussions.
The immigration crisis is “an problem that we are taking quite seriously,” according to Johnson’s spokeswoman.
The widening rift between the United Kingdom and France stems from the deaths of 27 migrants attempting to cross the small strait that separates the two countries, the biggest catastrophe in the history of one of the world’s busiest maritime lanes. find out more
Relations between the traditional allies are already strained, as evidenced by a recent submarine contract with Australia, which replaced one with France, and they were already criticising each other of inadequate immigration management.
“We’re tired of (London’s) double speak,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said, adding that Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin “told her she was no longer welcome.”