Politics

France CANCELS meeting with UK on Channel migrant deaths in fury over Boris Johnson’s ‘five-point plan’ letter to Macron


FURIOUS France has scrapped a meeting with Priti Patel over solving the Channel migrant crisis.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has cancelled planned talks with the Home Secretary on Sunday.

Priti Patel was due to meet European ministers in Calais on Sunday

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Priti Patel was due to meet European ministers in Calais on SundayCredit: AFP
Gerald Darmanin has scrapped the talks in fury over the PM's letter

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Gerald Darmanin has scrapped the talks in fury over the PM’s letterCredit: AFP

Paris blew its top after Boris Johnson published a letter that he sent to Emmanuel Macron last night.

In the note the PM asked for joint Navy patrols in the Channel and to put UK boots on French beaches.

He called for a joint intelligence operation to smash people smuggling gangs, but also said France should agree to take back failed asylum seekers.

Mrs Patel was supposed to meet ministers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium for talks on the crisis.

But last night a raging Mr Darmanin disinvited her in response to the PM’s letter, which he called a “disappointment”.

He fumed: “Making it public made it even worse. I therefore need to cancel our meeting in Calais on Sunday.”

In a statement his interior ministry added: “We consider the British PM’s public letter unacceptable and contrary to our discussions between counterparts.

“Therefore, Priti Patel is no longer invited on Sunday to the inter-ministerial meeting whose format will be France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and European Commission.”

France ‘should reconsider’

Transport secretary Grant Shapps urged Paris to “reconsider” its decision to can the vital talks.

He said: “Clearly we’ll speak to our French neighbours, but I can’t really think why anybody wouldn’t want to set up a joint intelligence cell.

“I really hope we’ll find a route to ensure this can be properly discussed.

“We’re appealing to the French to work even more closely with us on this as it’s in all our interests to get on top of it.

“It can’t be resolved unless we’re talking, so I do very much hope a route is found to ensure that can happen.”

It comes after 27 people drowned when their dinghy capsized trying to reach British shores on Wednesday.

The group included 17 men, seven women and three teenagers.

More than 22,000 people have made the perilous Channel crossing this year, with many still attempting the journey despite the dangerous weather.

It has been a record year for attempts with allegations the French police aren’t doing enough to stop people putting to sea.

Asylum seekers have been forced onto small boats by better security controls at Calais and extra checks on lorries.





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