France continued its fury today over Boris Johnson’s tweet to Emmanuel Macron. A minister called it a mockery’, and suggested that Johnson’s demand for all the migrants who crossed into France ‘exonerates Britain of responsibility.

This argument was a central one in Prime Minister’s last week letter to Emmanuel Macron. It is based on the conviction that people returning to France to claim asylum in any safe country would be a breach of the business model for people traffickers. 

Today, Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister of Britain suggested that this letter is an example of UK ministers communicating in a different way in public and private. This was yet another step in ratcheting up tensions.   

BFMTV he said: “When there are serious diplomatic exchanges..and lives at stake…and some minutes later, you see that a tweet from the British Prime Minster to the President French Republic, before the President has received it, is published on Twitter, it’s quite peculiar.

It is a joke when the English write that France should take back all of its migrants. 

Boris Johnson

Emmanuel Macron

Boris Johnson last week wrote to Emmanuel Macron requesting France return all the migrants that had crossed the Channel. The French weren’t happy with his tweet, but he published it first on Twitter. 

After stating that British/French relations aren’t ‘normal’ at the moment, he said that “our private exchanges” were not always aligned with our public ones. He then blamed Britain’s black economy’ as a draw factor for migrants. 

Earlier he had tweeted: ‘When Mr Johnson says that France must ‘take back its migrants’, what he is really asking is for France to exonerate him from any responsibility for receiving them.

“The British Government must assume responsibility.”  

His comments came after it emerged Priti Patel had struck an agreement with Dutch ministers that migrants should be returned to the first country they arrive after opening direct talks with European ministers after the deaths of at least 27 people last week.

Following President Macron’s protest at an alleged breach in protocol, Miss Patel was barred by the French government from Calais summit.

Despite his tantrum, the Home Office said Miss Patel spoke with her Dutch counterpart yesterday and secured crucial agreements on reforms.

A spokesman said both ministers acknowledged that returns agreements – allowing migrants to be sent from the UK back to other EU nations – were ‘essential for breaking the criminal business model’ operated by organised crime gangs who charge more than £3,000 per illegal crossing.

France repeatedly rejected any deal to allow migrants returning from the UK. 

Today interior minister Gerald Darmanin suggested the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating differently in public than they were in private in yet another ratcheting up of tensions.

Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister of today, suggested that this letter is an example of UK ministers communicating in private differently to each other in another round of ratcheting up tensions.

Whitehall sources said that they would have additional talks next week with their counterparts to discuss how we could work together in order to solve the crisis throughout Europe. The first step towards addressing the crisis of the asylum system and its pull factors is Priti’s Nationality and Borders Bill. 

Yesterday’s meeting saw France agree to let Frontex, Europe’s Border and Coast Guard Agency, fly over its coast from Wednesday. France repeatedly turned down the UK’s offer of an aerial reconnaissance plane.

The bitter briefing warfare 

Piti Patel’s resolute action in addressing the Channel crisis was criticized by government officials.

Sources expressed concern yesterday at the delay in resolving the matter of migrants entering northern France from the home secretary.

Miss Patel was also charged with ‘going missing’ during problems at her department.

According to a source, ‘She had given herself two years for this problem to be resolved but now the situation is even worse’. This was reported by The Mail on Sunday. Another said: ‘She has talked a good game – but she hasn’t yet delivered.’

An insider at the Home Office claimed that Macron’s tantrum after last week’s PM had published a 5-point action plan showed France was blocking her efforts. “People believe she needs to take control of the situation, so that they all can see what she is up against,” they said.

According to a Downing Street source, the Prime Minister had full faith in Home Secretary.

According to a UK government source, “We desire close collaboration” and “We want to cooperate.” This can only happen if we are all at the same table.

An official of the Home Office said that Miss Patel met with Ankie Broekers, the Dutch immigration minister and agreed that “the tragic incidents last week show the importance for European partners to collaborate”. 

A spokesperson added that the Home Secretary regretted not being present. [the]Calais meeting of the interior ministers to address this matter.

“The minister for migration and the Home secretary discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the EU, and how they could tackle criminal gangs responsible for these dangerous journeys. They also talked about joint intelligence sharing and law enforcement efforts. They both agreed that it is essential to have returns agreements in place in order to break the criminal business model.

According to reports, talks are scheduled with other nations this week. On Wednesday, three children, seven girls and seventeen men were killed in Calais while trying to get to the UK via northern France.

Macron denigrated PM Boris Johnson on Friday for his five-point Twitter action plan. That led Mr Darmanin rescinding Miss Patel’s invitation yesterday to the talks.

In Sunday’s Sun, the Home Secretary stated that he needed to think creatively about new solutions to maximize their impact. That’s why the prime minister of France and I are open to discussing ideas with French counterparts.

Health Secretary and former home secretary Sajid Javid said the PM’s strategy – including joint Anglo-French patrols and return agreements – were ‘exactly the kinds of things we need to do’. “These boats have to stop,” is our policy. Sky News told him that we need French cooperation.

Since the beginning of 2019, more than 26500 migrants have arrived in the UK, compared to just 8,410 for 2020. 

His comments came after it emerged Priti Patel had struck an agreement with Dutch ministers that migrants should be returned to the first country they arrive after opening direct talks with European ministers

After it was revealed that Priti Patel and the Dutch Ministers had reached an agreement that migrants would be returned to their first destination country after having opened direct negotiations with European ministers, his comments were made.