It is taking on the contours of the diplomatic crisis the clash between France and the United Kingdoms following the shipwreck in the English Channel of a migrant boat, in which 27 people lost their lives, including a pregnant woman and three children. The French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, in fact, canceled the meeting, scheduled for Sunday in Calais, with the English counterpart Priti Patel.
Johnson’s letter to Macron: “Take back the migrants”
At the basis of the decision, which the French broadcaster gave an account of BfmTv, there would be a five-point letter sent by the British premier Boris Johnson to the French president Emmanuel Macron, in which London asked France to “take back” the migrants attempting to cross the English Channel. Last night Johnson anticipated the contents of the letter with Tonight I have written to President Macron offering to move further and faster to prevent Channel crossings and avoid a repeat of yesterday’s appalling tragedy which claimed the lives of at least 27 people.
, where he then published the same document on government letterhead. Already close to the tragedy Johnson had said that “we have some difficulty in persuading some of our partners, in particular, the French, to do all the things that we believe the situation requires”.
Tonight I have written to President Macron offering to move further and faster to prevent Channel crossings and avoid a repeat of yesterday’s appalling tragedy which claimed the lives of at least 27 people.
The irritation of the Elysée: “The British are serious”
The Elysée did not hide all of his irritation for the affair. “The British are serious, I’m amazed by the method, you don’t communicate via tweet”, commented Macron, who had already leaked in the evening that he had accepted the letter as a delusion”, while the fact that Johnson had it made public “it’s even worse”. Then the French government spokesman thought about it, Gabriel Attal, to define the letter “poor in substance and totally out of place in form”. Attal, moreover, an interview with the same BfmTv, he commented saying that “there is too much talk”.
The London reply: “Proposed in good faith”
on your part Great Britain, through the Minister of Transport Grant Shapps, explained that the proposals put forward were “in good faith” and asked France to “reconsider” the decision to cancel the Calais meeting. “It is in everyone’s interest” to tackle together the increase in attempts to cross the Channel, underlined the minister, inviting Paris to “Work closely”.