UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on France to “take back” people who cross the Channel to the UK in a public letter addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
“An agreement with France to take back migrants who cross the Channel through this dangerous route would have an immediate and significant impact,” Johnson said.
In his letter, Johnson outlined five steps to “move further and faster” to avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s tragedy where 27 people died by drowning while attempting to cross the English Channel.
However, the French government reacted to the letter with anger and said a British minister was no longer welcome at a European meeting to discuss the problem.
“We consider Boris Johnson’s public letter unacceptable and in opposition with discussions between counterparts. As a consequence, Priti Patel is not invited anymore to the meeting on Sunday,” French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.
UK government officials were scheduled to attend talks in Calais with France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and the EU commission on Sunday.
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