Macron tells UK to ‘get serious’ on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronCities prep security plans for large holiday crowds Harris’s communications director to depart next month Harris commemorates 2015 Paris attack with flowers MORE warned Britain Friday that it needs to “get serious” about dealing with the flow of migrants between the two countries, Reuters reported, amid increased concerns about migration into and throughout Europe. 

The strong statement from Macron comes after 27 migrants died trying to cross from France to Britain by boat, the worst migrant tragedy in the English Channel in years.

British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonFrance and UK pledge action after over 20 migrants drown in English Channel Boris Johnson talks Peppa Pig during rambling speech Biden needs to directly engage Brazil’s President Bolsonaro MORE published a letter on Twitter criticizing France over the migrants and called for “joint patrols” by the two countries. He also stressed on the need for a deal that would allow migrants to be deported back to France.

France, however, accused Britain of “double speak.”

“You don’t communicate from a leader to another on these matters via tweets and letters that are made public. We are not whistleblowers,” Macron told reporters while on a visit to Italy, according to The Associated Press.

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the letter “doesn’t correspond at all” with discussions that Johnson and Macron had Wednesday after the tragedy.

“We are sick of double-speak,” Attal said, per the AP.

He also stressed that France would not consider accepting migrants to be deported back to its shores, saying it is “clearly not what we need to solve this problem.”

Soon after Johnson’s letter was made public on Twitter, the French government canceled an invitation to British Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend a meeting on Sunday to discuss immigration issues with European Union leaders.

Johnson’s spokesman said the British prime minister was taking the issue “extremely seriously” that he hoped France would reconsider its decision to cancel Patel’s invite, Reuters reported.

Relations between the two countries have been strained for the last few months over fishing rights issues and trade.

France and Britain has previously agreed on Wednesday to do more to stop migrants from making perilous journeys through the English Channel.

The two sides agreed that France would use patrols and surveillance to curb the number of people crossing the English Channel, operations that Britain will pay for.

Read More: Macron tells UK to ‘get serious’ on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions

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