Gerald Darmanin said negotiations could resume “very quickly” if the UK ended “double talk” and its public comments aligned with what was being said in private.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson infuriated French President Emmanuel Macron last week when he posted a letter on Twitter calling for joint patrols on French beaches and the return to France of migrants who manage to make the dangerous crossing of the Channel.
Macron said it was not a serious way to negotiate, while Home Secretary Priti Patel was banned from a meeting in Calais on Sunday of ministers from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Netherlands. Germany to discuss the crisis.
The dispute follows the capsize last week of a boat in the English Channel with the loss of at least 27 lives.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Darmanin said the two countries must work together to tackle a common problem.
“We cannot change our geography, so we have to get along with our British friends and allies even if they have chosen to leave Europe,” he said.
“The common interest of Europe and Great Britain is to work together to try to solve this 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. Britain. “
Darmanin added that Paris hoped that the “public invectives” would stop, “in particular from the United Kingdom towards French or European political leaders”.
A government source said Darmanin’s offer to resume talks appeared to be a “positive” development.
“We are keen to work together to find common solutions to this problem,” the source said.
Darmanin said French Prime Minister Jean Castex would write to Johnson with Paris proposals for a “balanced deal” between the UK and the EU.
He added: “We cannot accept – and this is a red line for the French government – the practice of turning back boats at sea.”
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Earlier, Downing Street had insisted that a return agreement, as spelled out by Johnson in his letter, would be the “greatest deterrent” for migrants attempting to cross the Channel.
Following French criticism that UK labor market rules make it too easy for migrants to find work, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said the government was taking action to overhaul the asylum system.
“The biggest deterrent, the biggest step we could take with the French would be a return agreement, as the prime minister said last week,” the spokesperson said.
“But we are already taking action through our Nationality and Borders Bill to reduce the pull factors to the UK and make our asylum system stronger but fairer. “
After talks on Sunday, it was agreed that a plane, operated by the European Union border agency Frontex, would monitor the Channel shores for people crossing from December 1.
Migration officials have also pledged to cooperate more closely against smuggling networks and the inflatable boat trade.