Brexit: Tory minister mocks Macron for calling Boris a clown
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Sources told the weekly satirical French newspaper ‘Le Canard Enchaine’ that Mr Macron opened fire on Boris Johnson on Thursday, the day after 27 migrants drowned in the Channel. Le Canard Enchaine reported Mr Macron was incensed by a letter addressed to him published on Twitter by Boris Johnson, suggesting ways to solve the migrant crisis, including immediately returning migrants to France when they reached British shores.
The magazine recounted Mr Macron’s furious comments: “Bojo talks to me, he’s down to earth, everything’s fine, we’re having grown-up discussions and then he sticks it to us either beforehand or afterwards in an inelegant manner. It’s always the same circus.
Mr Macron reportedly said Britain leaving the EU was the “starting point” of ongoing tensions between the UK and France.
According to Le Canard Enchaine, he said: “Very quickly, Boris Johnson realised that the situation was catastrophic for the British.
“There’s no petrol in the pumps, there’s a whole bunch of stuff missing.
“He positions himself as a victim, he makes France a scapegoat, he tries to turn every simplistic situation into a complex problem. We have been in this situation since March.
“He has done this on the sausage war, on fishing and on the submarine affair.”
Speaking about Mr Johnson, he added “In private, he says he is sorry to act this way, but he admits that above all he must respond to public opinion.”
Mr Johnson’s spokesman said he had not seen the report, however, he added: “The important thing the public on both sides of the Channel want us to do is focus on how we avoid further loss of life.”
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Mr Macron’s public response to Mr Johnson’s tweet was more tempered.
At a press conference on Friday, he said: “I spoke two days ago with Prime Minister Johnson in a serious way.
“For my part, I continue to do that, as I do with all countries and all leaders.
“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.”
Mr Macron went on to exclude the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, from a meeting on Sunday of EU ministers, to discuss solving the migrant crisis.
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Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “At the very moment when the Prime Minister needed to be a statesman, to actually deal with this, what we saw instead was a grave error of judgement in putting a public letter on Twitter.
“He was trying to seek international cooperation, and it’s ended up, in a matter of hours, with our government being excluded from these vital talks.”
Tensions between France and the UK have worsened during 2021, as the fishing row and disputes over the Northern Ireland Protocol are ongoing.
Mr Johnson said the recent catastrophe in the Channel would force the British Government “to work with our French friends”.
He added: “I say to our partners across the Channel, now is the time for us all to step up, to work together.”
Do you think Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson can salvage their relationship? Have your say in the comments section below.
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