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Macron refuses to look 'soft on the Brits' so close to election year, says former diplomat

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Tensions between the British and French Governments continue to build up after Boris Johnson publicly released a letter he wrote to Emmanuel Macron regarding the current migrant crisis. Following the death of 27 people, including seven women and three children on Wednesday, Mr Johnson sent a three-page letter to the French president and sparked outrage in Paris.

French Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the letter was proof of Johnson’s “double talk.”

He added: “We are fed up with the way they are externalising problems.

“You wonder whether Boris Johnson doesn’t regret leaving Europe because whenever there is a problem, he considers that Europe must handle it.

“But that is not the way it works.

“The way it works is through co-operation.”

In retaliation, France has uninvited Home Secretary Priti Patel from a meeting she was supposed to attend with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

Mr Macron shared his views on the said published letter while on an official visit to Rome: “I am surprised by methods when they are not serious.

“We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public.

READ MORE: Labour blasted for ‘aligning with EU’ – anger at Boris letter

In his letter, the British Prime Minister asked France to start a re-admission process when all asylum seekers who would reach British shores after crossing the Channel would be sent back to France immediately.

Lord Ricketts suggests Mr Macron had no choice but to appear fierce following such a demand from Boris Johnson.

“President Macron is in a difficult election year.

“He will not want to look soft on the Brits, and this is an intensely difficult issue for him in France with this catastrophic loss of life.”

The former ambassador also said Paris was wrong to un-invite Priti Patel, especially since the meeting is supposed to look at “practical solutions to stop human misery” in a collaborative way.



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