UK and France play ‘blame game’ after Channel’s death, say Labor

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UK and France ‘are playing a blame game’ for people making perilous Channel crossings in small boats, Labor has said, rather than sit together and try to find a way avoid more deaths.

The diplomatic row between the countries, which saw France unsuspecting Priti Patel from a meeting of EU ministers in Calais on Sunday, after Boris Johnson tweeted a letter on the matter to Emmanuel Macron before the French president spoke to her. received, was “just plain unreasonable,” says Lisa Nandy.

“France blames Britain, Britain blames France – the truth is that the two governments are playing a blame game while children are drowning off their coasts,” the shadow minister said. Foreign Affairs to Trevor Phillips of Sky on Sunday’s show.

“This is simply unacceptable and any responsible government on either side of the Channel would put aside these differences and work together to address what is a shared collective problem that will only be resolved together.” “

France has invited representatives from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the European Commission to the meeting in Calais following the deaths of 27 people hoping to seek asylum in the UK last week.

While British officials held talks in France, Home Secretary Patel was pulled from the plans after intense French anger over what they saw as provocative British action by tweeting the letter.

Patel spoke separately on Sunday with Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch interior minister, according to British officials.

Speaking to Sky, Nandy lambasted Patel and Johnson’s approach to liaising with France, and also called for policies to tackle broader issues related to illicit Channel crossings, such as the lack of secure avenues to seek asylum in the UK.

“The government writes open letters to the French which they publish via social media, calling on the French to do things that any responsible government would have already done – put in place a mechanism across Europe to be able to put people back to safety . the third countries they pass through, to agree on safe and legal routes for people who have no obligation to come here, ”she said.

“The asylum system in Europe and around the world has completely collapsed. If you look at the countries that people are breaking free from, it’s Syria, it’s Afghanistan, there are reasons people are moving and the world has been completely unable to come together to deal with that.

“One of the people on the boat that sank just over a week ago was an Afghan soldier who said he had lost all hope of being able to get to Britain by legal means, because although the Minister of the Interior announced the extension of their Afghan refugee camp regime, this regime has not even opened yet and that was three months ago.

“These roads just don’t exist and they won’t exist until the government continues to play a blame game with others and go to great lengths to sit around a table and agree. of how we’re going to approach this together.

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