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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has criticised his UK ocunterpart Priti Patel following a meeting between the two regarding immigrants travelling between France and the UK on small boats across the English Channel.

  • Darmanin tweets: "France will not accept any practice contrary to the law of the sea, nor any financial blackmail. Britain's commitment must be kept. I made this clear to my counterpart Priti Patel. The friendship between our two countries deserves better than postures that undermine cooperation between our services."
  • Franco-British relations remain in a poor state following the Brexit negotiations of the past few years, while the record numbers of immigrants crossing the English Channel from French shores in 2021 risks a significant political backlash in the UK.
  • With both Patel and Darmanin viewed as hardline right-wingers in their respective Cabinets, the emotive issue of immigration could see cross-Channel relations deteriorate further.
  • PM's spokesman Max Blain stated today to lobby that the government is 'confident that any measures it takes on migrant boats will meet requirements of the law.' When asked if the PM would skipper a ship pushing a migrant boat back into French waters, Blain replied "[...] it's right that the tactics and approaches used [...] in the Channel are done by those with requisite training, that is our Border Force."
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 |

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