France is “ready for a serious discussion” with the United Kingdom on the migrant crisis, the minister said – .

France is “ready for a serious discussion” with the United Kingdom on the migrant crisis, the minister said – .

FFrance is ready for a serious discussion with the UK on the migrant crisis but will not be “held hostage” by UK domestic politics, the country’s Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said.

It comes after relations between Paris and London hit an all-time low after 27 people drowned off the British coast as they attempted to cross the Channel on Wednesday.

The two countries are at loggerheads over how to stem the number of people arriving on British shores in small boats. Relations had already deteriorated over post-Brexit fishing rights and the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Interior ministers from France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission met in Calais on Sunday to discuss small boat crossings – without the presence of British officials or Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“Britain left Europe, but not the world. We must work seriously on these issues (…) without being held hostage by British domestic politics, ”Mr Darmanin told reporters after the meeting.

Annelies Verlinden, Belgian Minister of the Interior, is greeted by Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of the Interior and Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais, Sunday
/ Getty Images
He added that France had been dealing with the problem of illegal migration to Britain for 25 years and it was now time for London to wake up.
“If migrants come to Calais, Dunkirk or the north of France, it is because they are attracted to England, in particular the labor market which makes it possible to work in England without any identification”, a- he declared.
“Great Britain must take its responsibilities and limit its economic attractiveness.
But he added: “This meeting was not anti-British. It was pro-European.
“We want to work with our British friends and allies. “
Boris Johnson sparked fury in Paris earlier this week after posting a letter on Twitter outlining five steps the two countries could take to deter migrants from making the perilous journey.
French ministers were particularly enraged by the recommendation to return illegal migrants to France.
Paris responded by canceling an invitation to Interior Minister Priti Patel to attend a meeting Sunday with her European counterparts to discuss the crisis.


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