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French minister Darmanin cancels migrant meeting with British counterpart

Reuters WORLD
Published November 26,2021

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has cancelled a Sunday meeting with his UK counterpart Priti Patel following criticism of France by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on its handling of migration, French media reported on Friday.

The decision underlined the poor post-Brexit relations between the two countries and the difficulties they may face working together to curb the flow of migrants after 27 people drowned trying to reach British shores on Wednesday.

Seventeen men, seven women and three teenagers died on when their dinghy deflated in the Channel, one of many such risky journeys attempted in small, overloaded boats by people fleeing poverty and war in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

The deaths deepened animosity between Britain and France, already at odds over post-Brexit trade rules and fishing rights.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said France was at fault and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin accused Britain of "bad immigration management".

French news agency AFP said the cancellation followed a letter from Johnson to President Emmanuel Macron sent on Thursday.