Gerald Darmanin said Prime Minister Jean Castex will write to Boris Johnson Tuesday with proposals for a “balanced deal” between the UK and the EU.
He said talks could take place “very quickly” if the British are ready to enter into negotiations in a “serious spirit”.
Mr. Darmanin’s comments come after the Minister of the Interior Priti Patel was withdrawn from talks with France and other European countries on Sunday after French President Emmanuel Macron objected to Prime Minister’s tweet a letter of suggestions he had sent to Mr. Macron.
A UK government source said France’s change in mood appeared to be “positive” following the diplomatic row that arose over the deaths of 27 migrants in the Channel last Wednesday.
France’s attitude towards the UK appears to have thawed slightly, with Mr Darmanin speaking at a press conference on Monday evening, saying the two countries need to work together to tackle a common problem.
“From the moment when there is no longer any double talk, and when we can discuss in a serious spirit, and our private exchanges correspond to our public exchanges, the French government is ready to resume discussions with the French government very quickly. Great Britain, ”he said.
He said the proposals could include ways to open legal channels to the UK for asylum seekers and allow unaccompanied minors to join relatives in the UK.
But, he said France would not accept Mr Johnson’s suggestion to roll back the boats, saying: “This is a red line for the French government. “
Mr Johnson spoke online Tuesday with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, whose Home Secretary was at Sunday’s meeting from which Ms Patel was excluded.
Downing Street a dit a return agreement, where asylum seekers are returned to the first safe country they entered, would be the “greatest deterrent” for people trying to cross the Channel in small boats.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Ms Patel had a phone call with her Dutch counterpart in which the couple also agreed that a return agreement was needed.