Paris backtracks on refusal to negotiate with UK over Channel migrant crisis paving the way for new talks this week as French PM writes to Boris Johnson proposing ‘balanced agreement’

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  • French PM Jean Casteux to write to Boris Johnson on Tuesday with proposals between Britain and the EU
  • French Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin said discussions could take place soon
  • But he said talks would take place if Britain stopped engaging in ‘double-speak’

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France and UK channels will resume talks on tackling migrant crisis as Paris backtracks on refusing talks.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex will write to Boris Johnson on Tuesday with proposals for a ‘balanced deal’ between Britain and the European Union.

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But French Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin launched another attack on Britain, saying discussions could happen ‘too early’ – but only if Britain stops engaging in ‘double talk’ and starts talks in ‘serious spirit’. Give.

It was a dig at Britain as France expressed outrage about Johnson’s decision to publish a letter to Emmanuel Macron on Twitter.

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On Monday, Dormanin suggested the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating differently in public than they were in private under another bout of tension.

An angry ‘petulant’ Macron over the letter banned UK Home Secretary Priti Patel from attending the Calais summit on the Channel migrant crisis over the weekend.

But the latest suggestion from France that talks with Britain could be restarted by Paris.

Emmanuel Macron

Boris Johnson wrote to Emmanuel Macron last week, requesting that France take back all migrants who crossed the Channel. But his decision to publish it on Twitter first angered the French.

French Prime Minister Jean Casteux (pictured) will write to Boris Johnson on Tuesday with proposals for a 'balanced agreement' between Britain and the European Union.

French Prime Minister Jean Casteux (pictured) will write to Boris Johnson on Tuesday with proposals for a ‘balanced agreement’ between Britain and the European Union.

A UK government source said it appeared to be a ‘positive’ move following a diplomatic dispute that erupted after a migrant boat capsized last week, killing 27 people.

Another source told The Times, ‘We are open to discussions, as we have always done. We will need to see the specifics but we are waiting for those conversations.’

Mr Johnson angered French President Emmanuel Macron when he posted a letter on Twitter calling for joint patrols on French beaches and the return of migrants who manage to make dangerous Channel crossings.

Mr Macron said this was not a serious way of talking. But Mr. Darmanin said on Monday that the two countries needed to work together to tackle a common problem.

He said, “From this time on there is no longer a dual talk, and we can discuss in serious spirit, and our private exchanges are in line with our public exchanges, with the French government of Great Britain re-discussing very quickly.” Ready to start,” he said.

Mr Darmanin said Mr Castex’s proposals could include ways to open the UK and the legal route for asylum seekers and allowing single minors to join relatives in the UK.

However he said that France could not accept the practice of returning boats at sea, adding: ‘This is a red line for the French government’.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is due to hold online talks with another major European player, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Cru.

Downing Street continued to push for a return agreement, as Mr Johnson set out in his letter, that would be the ‘single greatest deterrent’ for migrants attempting a Channel crossing.

Inflatable boats used by migrants crossing the English Channel from France have been secured by Port of Dover officials at the marina this morning.

Inflatable boats used by migrants crossing the English Channel from France have been secured by Port of Dover officials at the marina this morning.

Mr Darmanin had earlier called Britain’s request to bring migrants back to France a ‘joke’.

This was an important argument in the prime minister’s letter to Macron last week, due to the belief that returning people to France to claim asylum in the first safe country where they arrived would break the business model of people smugglers. .

But today Interior Minister Gerald Dormann suggested the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating in a different way to privately than publicly.

He told BFMTV: ‘When there are serious diplomatic exchanges .. and the lives that are at stake … and a few minutes later you see that a letter, which no one has mentioned before, is sent to the British on Twitter. Published by the Prime Minister. It’s a bit odd that the President of the Republic has received it before the President of the French Republic.

‘When the British say in this letter that the French should ‘take back their emigrants, all their emigrants’, it is a joke.

He stated that British/French relations were not currently ‘normal’ and that ‘our private exchanges are not always in line with our public exchanges’, before blaming the UK’s ‘black economy’ for being a pull factor for expatriates.

Earlier he had tweeted: ‘When Mr Johnson says France must take back its migrants’, what he is really asking is to absolve him of any responsibility to receive them from France.

‘The British government should take responsibility.’

His remarks came after it emerged that Priti Patel had struck an agreement with Dutch ministers that migrants should be returned to the country first, starting direct talks with European ministers after at least 27 deaths last week.

Miss Patel was barred from attending the Calais summit by the French government after President Macron expressed displeasure over the alleged breach of protocol.

Despite their anger, the Home Office said Miss Patel spoke with her Dutch counterpart yesterday and achieved important agreements on reforms.

A spokesman said both ministers acknowledged that the repatriation agreements – allowing migrants to be repatriated from Britain to other EU countries – were ‘necessary to break the criminal business model’ run by organized crime gangs, which per se were illegal. Crossings charge over £3,000.

France has repeatedly refused to consider an agreement on the return of migrants from Britain.

Today Interior Minister Gerald Darmin suggested that the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating differently in public than they were in private under yet another bout of tension.

Today Interior Minister Gerald Darmin suggested that the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating differently in public than they were in private under yet another bout of tension.

A Whitehall source said: ‘We will have further talks with our counterparts this week about how we can work together to solve this Europe-wide crisis. Preeti’s Nationality and Boundary Bill is the first step towards addressing the broken asylum system and the strain factors that arise from it.

At yesterday’s meeting, France agreed to allow aerial surveillance of its coastline by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency, from Wednesday. France had repeatedly rejected offers from Britain for aerial reconnaissance aircraft.

bitter briefing war

PT Patel’s decisive action to deal with the channel crisis came after criticism from within the government.

Sources yesterday hit out at the Home Secretary for how long it was taking to resolve the issue of migrants arriving from northern France.

He also accused Miss Patel of ‘disappearing’ when things went wrong in her department.

“He has two years to sort it out, but the situation is worse than ever,” a source told The Mail on Sunday. Another said: ‘He’s talked about a good game – but he hasn’t delivered yet.’

But a Home Office insider argued that Emmanuel Macron’s tantrums last week, when the PM published a five-point action plan, showed France was stalling his efforts. She claimed, “People say that she should control the situation and now they all can see for themselves what she is opposing.”

A Downing Street source said: “The Prime Minister has full faith in the Home Secretary.

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A UK government source said: ‘We want close cooperation and we want to work together. We have to be around the table for this to happen.’

A Home Office spokesperson said Miss Patel spoke to Dutch Migration Minister Anki Broers-Knoll and they “agreed that the tragic events of last week demonstrate the need for European partners to work together”.

The spokesperson added: ‘The Home Secretary expressed that it is unfortunate that she will not be present’ [the] Interior Ministers meeting in Calais to discuss the issue.

The Home Secretary and the Minister for Migration discussed ideas for enhancing bilateral and EU cooperation, including through shared intelligence and joint law enforcement initiatives to tackle the criminal gangs that perpetrate these deadly visits. Both agreed that return agreements are necessary to break the criminal business model.

Talks with other countries are planned this week, it is understood. Three children, seven women and 17 men died in Calais on Wednesday last week while trying to reach Britain from northern France.

On Friday, Mr Macron criticized PM Boris Johnson for posting a five-point action plan on Twitter. This prompted Mr. Darmanin to withdraw Miss Patel’s invitation for tomorrow’s talks.

The Home Secretary wrote in the sun on Sunday: ‘We need to be creative about finding new solutions that will have the maximum possible impact, which is why the Prime Minister and I are ready to discuss proposals with our French counterparts at any time. are ready.

Health secretary and former home secretary Sajid Javid said the PM’s strategy – which includes joint Anglo-French patrols and withdrawal agreements – is ‘exactly the kind of things we need to do’. ‘Our policy is very clear: these boats must stop. We need the cooperation of the French,’ he told Sky News.

More than 26,500 migrants have reached UK shores since the beginning of the year, compared to just 8,410 in 2020.

His remarks came after Priti Patel struck an agreement with Dutch ministers that migrants should be returned to the country first after initiating direct talks with European ministers.

His remarks came after Priti Patel struck an agreement with Dutch ministers that migrants should be returned to the country first after initiating direct talks with European ministers.

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