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tension is mounting between France and the United Kingdom

Faithful to his « at the same time », Emmanuel Macron has opted for a firm tone promising to better protect the borders without forgetting humanism, assures his entourage, after the tragedy which occurred in Calais, Wednesday, November 24, where more than twenty of migrants perished in the English Channel following the sinking of their makeshift boat. “The migration issue is a sensitive issue. But we are not going to suddenly convert to the theses of the extreme right nor to switch to angelism. On this subject, we have an interest in showing that the path which combines humanity, responsibility and European cooperation is the only way of passage ”, underlines the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, while the President of the Republic assured that « France would not let the Channel become a cemetery ».

Live: The fate of migrants in the Channel, a new subject of diplomatic crisis between France and the United Kingdom

But, on this subject, Europe must deal with a former member state, the United Kingdom, for which the migration issue is a crucial domestic policy issue. As of Friday morning, the hoped-for cooperation with London seemed to be undermined, with the cancellation by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, of the invitation formulated to his British counterpart, Priti Patel, to the meeting scheduled for Sunday, November 28. in Calais, between the ministers responsible for Belgian, German and Dutch immigration, as well as the European Commission. Objective of the meeting: to define the means of strengthening police, judicial and humanitarian cooperation to better fight against smuggling networks. According to Matignon, to be effective, it is necessary to provide « A response on a European scale ».

The French authorities have little tasted the lack of elegance of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who, on Thursday evening, made public a letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron, even before the French president had knowledge of it. In addition, the proposal contained therein, consisting in asking France to take back immigrants arriving in Great Britain, is considered « Inadmissible » by Paris. « I am surprised by the methods when they are not serious », criticized Emmanuel Macron, questioned about this letter during a press conference in Rome, Friday morning, after the signing of a treaty with Italy. “We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public, we are not whistleblowers. Calm down « , insisted the French president. This letter is “Basically indigent and totally out of place”, blasted, Friday morning, the government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, on BFM-TV.

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