Emmanuel Macron is left out in the cold as Priti Patel Dutch talks about migrant crisis
Emmanuel Macron left out in the cold as Priti Patel Dutch talks about migrant crisis by opening direct talks with European ministers
- Home Affairs Minister Priti Patel has opened direct talks with European ministers after the death of at least 27 people
- French government banned Ms Patel from attending a summit in Calais after taking offense at an alleged breach of protocol
- Miss Patel spoke to her Dutch colleague and arranged crucial agreements
Emmanuel Macron was embarrassed last night when it emerged that Priti Patel was seeking a new deal with European partners on returning Channel migrants.
Amid fresh attacks from France, the interior minister yesterday opened direct talks with European ministers after the deaths of at least 27 people last week.
The French government banned Ms Patel from attending a summit in Calais after President Macron took offense at an alleged breach of protocol.
Despite his tantrum, the Interior Ministry said Miss Patel spoke with her Dutch counterpart yesterday and made crucial agreements on reforms.
Emmanuel Macron was embarrassed last night when it emerged that Priti Patel was looking for a new deal with European partners on returning Channel migrants
French government banned Ms Patel from attending a summit in Calais after President Macron took offense at an alleged breach of protocol
The Bitter Briefing War
Piti Patel’s bold action to tackle the Canal Crisis follows government criticism.
Sources spoke to the interior minister yesterday about how long it took to resolve the issue of migrants crossing from northern France.
They also accused Miss Patel of ‘missing’ when things went wrong in her ward.
“She has had two years to resolve this but the situation is worse than ever,” a source told The Mail on Sunday. Another said, “She’s talked well, but she hasn’t delivered yet.”
But an interior ministry insider argued that Emmanuel Macron’s tantrum last week after the prime minister published a five-point plan showed France was blocking its efforts. “People say she needs to get the hang of the situation and now they can all see for themselves what she’s dealing with,” they claimed.
A source in Downing Street said: ‘The Prime Minister has full confidence in the Home Secretary.
A spokesman said both ministers acknowledged that return agreements – allowing migrants to be sent from the UK back to other EU countries – are ‘essential to break the criminal business model’ run by organized crime gangs that charge more than £3,000 per illegal crossing. . France has repeatedly refused to consider a deal on the return of migrants from the UK.
A Whitehall source said: ‘We will have more talks with colleagues this week about how we can work together to solve this European crisis. Priti’s Nationality and Borders Bill is the first step in addressing the broken asylum system and the attraction it creates.”
Last night, France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin blamed Britain for the Canal Crisis, saying: ‘If migrants come to Calais, Dunkirk or northern France, it’s because they are attracted to England, especially the labor market, which means you can work in England without any identification.’
At yesterday’s meeting, France agreed to allow air surveillance of its coastline by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, from Wednesday. France had repeatedly rejected offers of air reconnaissance aircraft from the UK.
A UK government source said: ‘We want close cooperation and we want to work together. For this to happen, we need to sit around the table.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said Ms Patel spoke with the Dutch Minister of Migration, Ankie Broekers-Knol, and that they “agreed that last week’s tragic incidents show that European partners need to work together”. The spokesperson added: “The Home Secretary said it was a pity she would not be present at [the] meeting of interior ministers in Calais to discuss this issue.
“The Home Secretary and the Migration Minister discussed ideas for enhanced bilateral and EU cooperation, including the need to tackle the criminal gangs orchestrating these deadly journeys through shared intelligence and joint law enforcement initiatives. Both agreed that return agreements are essential to break through the criminal business model.’
Despite his tantrum, the Interior Ministry said Miss Patel spoke with her Dutch counterpart Ankie Broekers-Knol (pictured) yesterday and made crucial agreements about reforms.
Talks with other countries are scheduled for this week, it is understood. Three children, seven women and 17 men died in Calais last Wednesday while trying to reach the UK from northern France.
On Friday, Macron criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson for posting a five-point plan on Twitter. It prompted Mr Darmanin to withdraw Miss Patel’s invitation to yesterday’s discussions.
The Home Secretary wrote in The Sun on Sunday: ‘We have to be creative in finding new solutions that will have the greatest possible impact. That is why the Prime Minister and I are ready to discuss proposals with our French colleagues at any time.”
Health Minister and former Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the Prime Minister’s strategy – including joint Anglo-French patrols and return agreements – is “exactly the sort of thing 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 start of the year, compared to just 8,410 in all of 2020.