France withdraws invitation to UK minister over Johnson letter — Analysis

France has withdrawn UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s invitation to a meeting in Calais, following the publication of a letter by PM Boris Johnson to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, regarding migrant crossings.

In a message seen by the news agency AFP on Friday, France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said he was “disappointed”Johnson sent a note to Johnson, which was simultaneously addressed to French President. published on the British prime minister’s Twitter account on Thursday.

Darmanin claims that while France was shocked at the contents of Darmanin’s article, social media made things worse. Accordingly, Darmanin claims that the French government cancelled a meeting scheduled for Sunday to address the increase in migration crossings through the Channel. The meeting was set with Priti Patel (UK Home Secretary).  

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“Priti Patel is no longer invited to the inter-ministerial meeting on Sunday, which will go ahead with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and the European Commission,”According to reports from the French press, a top French official spoke with the FT on Friday.  

Johnson had requested joint maritime patrols to keep migrants from crossing the Channel. Johnson also called for a plan to allow those migrants to be returned to France if they reach the UK. “If those who reach this country were swiftly returned, the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of traffickers would be significantly reduced,” Johnson had written.

After Wednesday’s death of 27 migrants crossing the border, Patel was scheduled to meet her French counterpart at Calais. France has pledged to increase its own responsibility, but, according to the Elysée, demanded Johnson not use the tragedy to actualize “political ends.”

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