Macron and Boris ‘both immature and wrong’ say Britons furious over migrant crisis


Channel migrants: Shapps grilled on Boris Johnson’s letter

In a poll of 1,673 people, held from November 25 to 26, 56 percent of people said Emmanuel Macron’s government is failing in its response to the migrant disaster, while 11 percent said Boris Johnson’s government is. Thirty three percent said both are. On Friday, the French President decided to uninvite Ms Patel from this weekend’s meeting with European interior ministers and the European Commission to discuss migration strategy.

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He revoked the UK’s invitation after the Prime Minister published a letter addressed to Mr Macron on Twitter.

Mr Macron said Johnson’s letter was not a “serious” way of handling matters.

“I’m surprised when things are not done seriously,” Macron told a press conference in Rome.

On Twitter, some people accused Mr Macron of “not taking it seriously”.

Keith Killick remarked: “Macron…it’s you not taking it seriously with your police waving the migrants goodbye from the beaches of France.”

But many agreed the Prime Minister had made a mistake by making the document public.

@Kirkers1975 responded to Mr Johnson’s post, saying: “Why would you publicly tweet a letter to the head of state of our closest neighbours? Unless riling the French was its purpose?”

Bank Andshoal added: “Why are you sharing a private letter with the public? Do you understand how human relationships work? If you don’t, could you step aside and let someone into the job who does? We don’t need you.”

And Lola Ashton agreed: “Something as important as this should be done in person.”

Rob Shiers posed the question: “Is it possible to think that Boris and Macron are being immature and are both in the wrong or does it have to be one or the other?”

Macron and Johnson

The ‘blame game’ continues between Macron and Johnson (Image: Getty)

In the letter, Mr Johnson suggested five steps to reduce the crossings:

  • Joint or reciprocal maritime patrol operations in each other’s territorial waters
  • Deploying more advanced technology including ground sensors and radar
  • Reciprocal airborne surveillance by manned and unmanned aircraft, perhaps flying under joint insignia
  • Deepening the work of our Joint Intelligence Cell with better real time intelligence sharing to deliver arrests and prosecutions on both sides of the Channel
  • Introducing a bilateral readmission agreement to allow all illegal migrants who cross the Channel to be returned

On his last point, he added: “This would have an immediate effect and would significantly reduce – if not stop – the crossings, saving lives by fundamentally breaking the business model of the criminal gangs.”

READ MORE: Macron knifes Boris in back over Channel migrant letter

When Britain left the EU, it was no longer able to use the bloc’s system for returning migrants to the first member state they entered.

A government minister revealed last week just five people had been returned to Europe after making it to Britain in 2021, compared to 294 people who had crossed in small boats being returned in 2020 – when the Brexit transition period was still in place.

Migrant crossings on the Channel have risen drastically since the UK left the EU. In 2019, just 297 migrants using small vessels reached UK shores in 2018, compared to 25,700 people who have made the journey this year, according to Sky News.

Both leave and remain voters had a lot to say about Mr Johnson’s proposal to send asylum seekers back to France.

Pete Kitching said: “Re-admission to an EU agreement? You decided to end the Dublin Agreement with your Brexit choices.

“Are you sure you want such an agreement? It will probably mean that the European Court of Justice would be the supreme arbitrator, you know, the body who you keep threatening to trigger Article 16 over.”

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French police search a beach near Calais

French police search a beach near Calais after emergency rescue mission is announced (Image: Getty)

28 people lose their lives crossing the Channel

Belongings, lifejackets, and dinghy swept up as 28 people lose their lives crossing the Channel (Image: Getty)

David Ackland said: “Under the Dublin Convention we had the right to return to France any asylum-seekers arriving here from France.

“Your Government, under your leadership, took the UK out of the Dublin Convention as part of “taking back control”. Now you expect France to control our borders for us.”

Dennis Houghton commented: “One of the reasons I voted to leave is that we need to control our borders, with emphasis on the “control “. But since then, our borders have leaked like a bucket.”

Huge numbers of social media users campaigned for safe ways for asylum seekers to get to the UK, as opposed to Mr Johnson’s plan of upping militarisation.

@Ian_in_SPACE tweeted: “Dear Prime Minister, I can confirm that neither yourself or President Macron have done enough to prevent such a catastrophe.

“Yesterday’s disaster is proof of this. People should be assisted when seeking asylum, not forced to risk their lives to obtain it!”

@Junesim63 directed her comments to the Prime Minister, writing: “Your letter doesn’t go to the root of the problem, which is the lack of safe routes to asylum.

“Instead, you propose nasty and ultimately ineffective militarised solutions.

“Desperate people will still risk their lives, be exploited by gangs and die. Safe routes. Do it.”

Journalist Tom Bacon said there was “not a word of anything that would actually help” in Mr Johnson’s letter.

He added: “These people go to these horrific lengths because they are desperate, and cannot access safer routes.

“The vast majority of them are genuine refugees. The ‘harsher’ we get, the more desperate they become.”

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