Boris' letter to Macron was 'grave error of judgement' says MP
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The UK Government was due to attend a meeting with numerous European leaders, set up by French President Emmanuel Macron, this weekend to draw up proposals for resolving the growing issue of migrants crossing the Channel from France to Britain. But France reacted furiously to an open letter sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Mr Macron on Thursday, laying out the UK’s proposals by disinviting the Home Secretary from the meeting.
Mr Macron suggested publication of the letter on Twitter equated to “whistleblowing” and accused the Government of not being “serious”.
Talking to the BBC on Friday, Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds echoed the French President’s sentiments, criticising the Government of committing a “grave error of judgement”.
Labour’s frontbencher rejected Downing Street’s claim that the “public understandably want to know what we are doing” and have a right to know where negotiations stand, insisting that the Prime Minister failed in his role to be a “statesman”.
He said: “[The publication of the letter] has ended up within a matter of hours with our Government being excluded from these vital talks that need to take place to prevent people from risking their lives I the Channel.”
But Darren Grimes suspects that Labour’s position has more to do with political tribalism than any actual disagreements of approach.
The ReasonedUK and GB News commentator wrote on Twitter: “Of course Labour is siding with the French here.
“They will never, ever, side with Britain over the EU.”
This comes after 33 migrants, including a little girl and five women, drowned on Wednesday while attempting to cross the Channel from France to Britain in an inflatable dinghy.
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A talk was due to take place in Calais between Britain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the European Commission.
The UK Government has urged France to reconsider its decision to ban Home Secretary Priti Patel from the meeting.
It said: “This is a problem we have to fix together.”
In his letter to Mr Macron on Thursday, Mr Johnson thanked the French Government and French authorities “who have been working on this channeling issue for so long”.
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He added that “we must go further and faster, together” to ensure that the problem is resolved and that no more lives are needlessly lost.
Almost 26,000 migrants have successfully made the crossing this year, according to data from the Home Office.
That’s more than three times the total number who are reported to have crossed in 2020.
Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet recently told Express.co.uk that “the reason the numbers crossing the Channel illegally have grown exponentially this year, and will continue to go up, is that it has proved all too easy to get here in calm weather”.
He added: “And whether picked up at sea or after landing on a UK beach, there is every likelihood that you are here to stay.”
He argued that failing to discourage people from attempting the crossing will endanger more and more lives.
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