British Minister downplays tensions with France over the Channel Crossings crisis | Immigration and asylum
A Home Secretary played down the diplomatic row between France and the UK over the Channel refugee crisis, insisting it was time to “craft new creative solutions.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron clashed earlier this week over how to treat people attempting to cross the Channel in small boats as they fled war, poverty and persecutions.
Damian Hinds, whose dossier covers security and borders, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “British and French officials have worked together throughout the process. In fact, we’ve been working together for years on these really important issues. The partnership is solid.
France was irritated by Johnson’s publication of a letter he sent to Macron in which he set out his proposals, including reiterating a call for joint Franco-British patrols by border officials along French beaches to prevent boats from leaving – a proposal that Paris has long resisted.
Johnson also called for talks to begin on a bilateral return agreement, saying it could have “an immediate and significant impact” on attempts to cross the Channel after the UK left a return deal from the UK. European Union following Brexit.
Hinds called the Prime Minister’s letter to the French leader “exceptionally supportive and collaborative”.
He said “no one is proposing to violate sovereignty,” amid concerns over demand by British officials to join patrols on French beaches.
“The [letter] recognizes absolutely everything that the French government and authorities have done, that it is a shared challenge, but that now, particularly driven by this terrible tragedy, we must go further, we must deepen our partnership, we must expand what we do, we have to develop new creative solutions, ”he added.
However, Paris withdrew an invitation to Interior Minister Priti Patel to attend a meeting of ministers of key European allies in Calais on Sunday.
Although Patel was uninvited, spokesperson No.10 said Interior Ministry officials traveled to France for talks with their French counterparts on Friday as scheduled.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal dismissed the proposal as “clearly not what we need to solve this problem” and said Johnson’s letter “does not correspond at all” to the talks the PM British and Macron had during their interview on Wednesday. .
“We are fed up with double talk,” he added, and said Johnson’s decision to post his letter on his Twitter feed suggested he was “not being serious.”
As the feud between governments continued on Friday, the first of 27 people to die after a ship capsized in the Channel on Wednesday was named as a young Kurdish woman from northern Iraq.
Relatives have identified 24-year-old Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, known to her family as Baran, as one of the victims of the deadliest day of the Channel migration crisis.
Krmanj Ezzat Dargali posted a tribute to his cousin on social media and told Sky News: “The situation is just horrible. She was a woman in the prime of her life.
“I understand why so many people are leaving for a better life, but it is not the right way. It is the road to death.
He said he hoped the British and French governments “would accept us in a better way,” adding: “Anyone who wants to leave their home and travel to Europe has their own reasons and hopes, so just help them out with one. best way and not forcing them to take this path of death.
While other victims have not yet been identified, relatives of a Kurdish village in Iraq are bracing for the worst. Ranya’s relatives had been waiting for days for news from loved ones whose phones had gone silent as they attempted the dangerous crossing on Wednesday.