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Franco-British tensions: Boris Johnson wants the “return of all migrants crossing the Channel” to France

After the conflict over fishing, the management of migrants. Franco-British relations are entering a new phase of tension. Thursday, Emmanuel Macron called Boris Johnson. The president “made it known” to his interlocutor “that he expected the British to cooperate fully and that they refrain from using a dramatic situation for political ends”, reports the Elysee. Atmosphere, the day after a fatal shipwreck off Calais causing at least 27 victims. “There is anger against the English, confirms a government adviser. They hold an anti-immigration discourse, while having the right to attract illegal immigrants. We French find ourselves in the position of torturers in spite of ourselves, managing the human tragedies on our coasts and the protection of their border ”.

In the evening, these recommendations did not prevent the British Prime Minister from asking Emmanuel Macron to take back to France all those who would have managed to enter his territory: “I propose that we put in place a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel, ”detailed Boris Johnson in a letter to his counterpart, posted on Twitter.

According to him, such a measure “would have an immediate effect and would considerably reduce – or even stop – crossings”.

The cost of policing divides. Since the Treaty of Touquet, which entered into force in 2004, and other texts that followed, Great Britain has financed the controls and the securing of transit sites in Calaisis. Of the 60 million euros that the United Kingdom has committed to pay, there is still a slate of 40 million … “If nothing changes at the end of Sunday’s meeting between Gérald Darmanin and in particular their minister of the Interior, then it will be “open fire” on the United Kingdom so that they spin us the money “, thunders another adviser. “We can not trust Boris Johnson,” laments a minister of the inner circle, still reeling from the British maneuvers to derail the trade agreement with Australia on submarines.

France’s supposed laxity

On the other side of the Channel, the tabloids gave themselves to their heart’s content by publishing photos of migrants taking to sea, under the passive gaze of French gendarmes. A point of view in unison with that of Boris Johnson. The British Prime Minister believes that France has not done enough to fight against networks that exploit the misery of migrants. “We had difficulty persuading some of our partners, in particular the French, to act up to the situation,” he tackled as soon as the heavy toll of the castaways was revealed.

Now that the Channel constitutes an external border of the Union, the French executive also relies on the European agency Frontex to track down illegal boats – patrols, technical means of detection, etc. A government communicator is already anticipating the British reaction: “Boris Johnson will be able to trumpet that it is European means which protect his country …”

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