France refuses to be held ‘hostage’ to British politics

France will not be held hostage to Britain’s domestic politics over the Channel migrant crisis, the country’s interior minister has said, signaling, however, readiness to negotiate with London.

The remarks were delivered by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Sunday, following a meeting with his Belgian, German and Dutch counterparts in the northern French city of Calais. 

“Britain left Europe, but not the world. We need to work seriously on these questions... without being held hostage by domestic British politics,” Darmanin told reporters.

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FILE PHOTO. Migrants in a dinghy wearing life jackets illegally cross the English Channel from France to Britain on September 11, 2020. © AFP / Sameer Al-DOUMY
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The UK itself is to blame for the flow of migrants, seeking to reach British shores and taking a daring voyage across the English Channel, the minister claimed. The migrants are “attracted by England” and its labor market in particular “which means you can work in England without any identification,” he added.

Britain must take its responsibility and limit its economic attractiveness.

Britain was ultimately left out of the Calais meeting, with Darmanin notifying his UK counterpart Priti Patel of canceling her invitation on Friday. The move came over an open letter published by the UK PM Boris Johnson, who urged Paris to simply take all the illegal migrants back. Paris has rejected any possibility of this happening.

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