The Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas estimated, Saturday, November 27, that the United Kingdom is responsible for solving its problems related to the influx of migrants since Brexit. The country “Left the European Union” (EU), therefore it “Must now decide how to organize the management of border control”, said Schinas. “If I remember correctly, the main slogan of the referendum campaign [sur le Brexit] was “We are taking back control” ”, he added.
The migration crisis has escalated after the sinking on Wednesday November 24 of a boat in the English Channel which claimed the lives of 27 migrants. Tensions between France and the UK escalated further on Friday after the publication of a letter from Boris Johnson addressed to Emmanuel Macron, in which the British Prime Minister calls on France to take back immigrants arriving in the United Kingdom.
The publication of this letter ulcerated France. In response, the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, canceled the invitation of his British counterpart, Priti Patel, to Sunday’s meeting in Calais devoted to migrants.
“Not serious” methods
The meeting will take place, without the British but with the ministers responsible for Belgian, German and Dutch immigration, as well as the European Commission. In a message to Mme Patel, Mr. Darmanin believes that while Mr. Johnson’s letter to Mr. Macron has sparked ” disappointment “, the fact of having made this letter public is “Worse” Again.
Visiting Rome, Emmanuel Macron also criticized the British Prime Minister for his methods “Not serious”. “We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public. We are not whistleblowers ”, declared the Head of State to the press.
The British Prime Minister has indeed published the letter in question on Twitter Thursday evening. “I propose that we put in place a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel”, he writes.
Recalling that “The European Union has concluded readmission agreements with countries such as Belarus and the Russian Federation”, Mr Johnson said “Hope that such an agreement can also be concluded with the United Kingdom quickly”. “This measure would have an immediate effect and would considerably reduce – or even stop – crossings, saving lives by fundamentally breaking the business model of criminal gangs. “
The issue of crossings, which regularly stirs up bilateral tensions, is a delicate one for the British Conservative government, which has made the fight against immigration its hobbyhorse in the wake of Brexit.
These tensions linked to migratory flows add to the general hardening of relations between France and the United Kingdom since Brexit. The two countries are arguing in particular over fishing rights in British waters, and Paris accuses London of having negotiated in secret with the United States and Australia a strategic partnership agreement which precipitated the cancellation of a mega-contract for the sale of French submarines in Canberra.