Escalation between France and Great Britain in the migrant crisis

Escalation between France and Great Britain in the migrant crisis

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Paris | The crisis between Paris and London took a new turn on Friday, with the cancellation by Paris of the British presence at the Calais meeting devoted to the migrant crisis, in response to Boris Johnson's request that France take back the immigrants arriving in Great Britain. & nbsp;

In a message to his British counterpart Priti Patel, the French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin considers that if the letter from the British Prime Minister to Emmanuel Macron is a “disappointment”, the fact of having made this letter public is “worse” Again. As a result, he canceled the attendance of Ms Patel.

Mr Johnson's letter is “indigent in substance and out of place,” added government spokesman Gabriel Attal, on the BFMTV channel. This letter “proposes this + relocation” agreement, this is obviously not what we need to solve this problem, “he added.

Despite these very harsh words, London asked Paris to reinstate the invitation to the British Home Secretary. The Belgian, German, Dutch and British immigration ministers, as well as the European Commission were invited.

“No nation can tackle this alone. I hope the French will reconsider (their decision), ”Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the BBC.

This dispute comes less than two days after the sinking of a ship off Calais, which resulted in the deaths of 27 migrants. Among the victims are 17 men, seven women and three young people.

Mass arrivals in England

This is the deadliest migration tragedy since increase in Channel crossings in 2018, in the face of the increasing lockdown of the French port of Calais (northern France) and the rail tunnel, used until then.

The question of crossings, which regularly stirs up bilateral tensions, is a delicate one for the British Conservative government, which has made the fight against immigration its hobbyhorse in the wake of Brexit and has seen the south coast of England since months with massive arrivals of migrants.

If France and the United Kingdom seemed so far to want to silence their disagreements and improve their coordination, Boris Johnson tense Paris by asking Emmanuel Macron on Thursday evening to take back all migrants arriving in England from France.

“I propose that we put in place a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel,” he said in a letter posted on Twitter, referring to similar agreements concluded by the EU with Belarus or Russia.

Seeming on the same wavelength, Priti Patel called for a “coordinated international effort”, in front of British MPs.

Fishing and submarines

“There are enough of double talk and the permanent outsourcing of problems” by the United Kingdom, lamented Gabriel Attal. “It makes you wonder now if Boris Johnson does not regret having left Europe, because as soon as he has a problem he considers that it is up to Europe to manage it!” he insisted. But “it doesn't work like that: it works in cooperation”.

Asked whether Paris was going to denounce the Touquet agreements, which have fixed the British border on the French coast since 2004, in exchange for financial compensation, the spokesperson for the French government ruled that “we can ask ourselves all the questions about the agreements, you will never be able to change neither the geography, nor the geopolitical balances nor the desire of migrants who want to go to Great Britain ”.

As of November 20, 31,500 migrants had left the French coasts for Great Britain since the beginning of the year.

Beyond the migrant crisis, tensions have accumulated on both sides of the Channel since Brexit, first place on fishing. France is agitating the threat of sanctions if its fishermen do not obtain more licenses to operate in British waters.

The bilateral confidence crisis further worsened when Paris discovered in September that Washington , London and Canberra had secretly negotiated a strategic partnership agreement. France indirectly lost a mega-contract for the sale of submarines to Australia.

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