‘Like an angry five-year-old!’ Macron blasted over ‘tantrum’ – France told it must do more

Channel crossings: Border force patrol following deaths

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Franco-British relations were dragged to a new low late last week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson published a letter to Mr Macron outlining the UK’s proposals for resolving the issue on Twitter. The French President issued a firm response, branding Mr Johnson as not “serious” and disinviting the UK from what could have been an important meeting between European leaders.

The meeting was called after 27 migrants drowned while attempting to cross the Channel last Wednesday.

This group included seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children.

Given this context, which makes it more clear than ever that a lot of lives are put at risk by ongoing Channel crossings, Mr Macron has been urged to stop acting like an “angry five-year-old”.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith wrote a thrashing piece in the Mail on Sunday insisting that The French President’s response to the publication of Mr Johnson’s letter was all wrong.

He wrote: “Instead of a rant, he should have showed humility.”

The former leader of the Conservative Party drew particular attention to the fact that France’s inaction comes in spite of attempted cooperation from Britain.

He wrote: “After paying the French £54 million to stop the illegal and dangerous crossings, more migrants than ever are putting themselves in the hands of the people smugglers and crossing the Channel in overcrowded and flimsy boats.”

Rather than put this money to good use, the French have “wasted” it, according to Sir Iain.

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Sir Iain also echoed a call by Brexiteer MP Sir John Redwood for Mr Macron to adopt some of the measures put forward by the British Prime Minister.

Sir John wrote on Twitter: “If President Macron wants to stop so many people dying in French waters from people smuggling boats he might need to adopt some of the UK suggestions in the PM letter.”

Mr Johnson proposed that UK Border Force officials help patrol French beaches.

Sir Iain said enacting this proposal was “vital”.

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But as of yet, action has not followed.

At the meeting on Sunday, which took place despite Home Secretary Priti Patel being knocked off the guest list, France argued that Britain must be “responsible” for resolving the problem by making the country “less attractive for migrants”.

Sir Iain noted that there is a “pull factor” for migrants travelling to Britain.

But he expressed his hope that the Nationality and Borders Bill will give those arriving illegally less rights than those who come legally (and, importantly, safety).

Another measure proposed by Mr Johnson was the creation of “a bilateral readmissions agreement” which would allow migrants arriving illegally in Britain via the Channel to be returned.

French officials have also mocked this point, insisting that it is an attempt to copy the EU’s ‘Dublin agreement’ on the relocation of asylum seekers, despite Britain having left the bloc.

But the Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney has rejected this claim, noting that such agreements should be “torn up from a UK point of view” and replaced by new treaties which “reflect the wishes of the public on immigration”.

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