UK urges France to ‘reconsider’ migrant meeting snub

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had told his UK counterpart Priti Patel she was no longer invited to weekend talks. — AFP file pic
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had told his UK counterpart Priti Patel she was no longer invited to weekend talks. — AFP file pic

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LONDON, Nov 26 — A UK minister today urged Paris to reconsider after it withdrew an invite to Britain’s interior minister for migrant talks in protest at a letter made public by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“I hope the French will reconsider. It’s in our interests. It’s in their interests,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had told UK counterpart Priti Patel she was no longer invited to weekend talks with other European ministers on Sunday.

Shapps said that “no nation can tackle this alone”, after 27 people died on Wednesday when their boat capsized in the Channel — the worst disaster on record since the mass attempts by migrants to reach the UK began.

He added that talks with France were “certainly in the interests of people being people-trafficked to the UK” in “tragic scenes”.

“We absolutely need to work together on it. How can we resolve these problems if we do not work together?”

France reacted angrily after Johnson tweeted a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron sugesting France take back migrants who cross the Channel.

Darmanin told Patel that the letter was “a disappointment”.

The Home Office has not commented on the snub to Patel. — AFP

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