Despite the struggle for illegal immigrants, relations between Britain and France remain “strong”: Minister


Britain’s minister said on Saturday that the partnership between France and Britain was “strong” despite a dispute between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron over how to deal with the illegal immigration crisis on the UK channel. He said it was up to.

The French government said on Friday that Johnson’s public letter to Macron was “unacceptable,” and as a result, British Home Secretary Priti Patel was not invited to meet with other European ministers on Sunday. ..

Despite the diplomatic line, British Interior Minister Damian Hines told the BBC Radio 4 Today show that the partnership will remain “strong.”

“British and French officials have been working together for a long time. In fact, we have been working together for years on these really important issues,” he said.

Johnson said in a letter that the two countries need to “cooperate faster” to deal with the crisis after a boat carrying illegal immigrants sank on Wednesday, killing 27 people. ..

He called on Paris to regain illegal immigrants and suggested that British border authorities begin patrols on the beaches of northern France as early as next week.

However, the proposal was rejected by French government spokesman Gabriel Atal. “It’s clear that it’s not necessary to solve this problem,” he said. He said France was “sick of Doublespeak” because Johnson’s letter “doesn’t correspond at all” to the discussion he had when he talked to Macron on Wednesday.

At a press conference on Friday, Macron said Johnson’s decision to post his letter on Twitter feeds suggests he’s “not serious.”

“We do not contact one leader to another on these issues by publishing tweets or letters. We are not whistleblowers,” he said.

Hands defended Johnson’s letter, stating that the tone was “very supportive and supportive.”

“It absolutely acknowledges everything the French government and authorities have done. It’s a common challenge, but especially driven by this terrible tragedy, we go further, deepen our partnerships and ours. We have to expand our activities. Yes, we have to create new creative solutions, “he said.

Mr Hands also said Johnson’s proposal for a joint patrol of French beaches does not constitute an infringement of French sovereignty. “No one has proposed infringement of sovereignty. The Prime Minister’s letter proposes to do more than we have ever done.”

He acknowledged the challenge of cracking down on the French coastline, but added: “

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan