Macron: Britain bears weight of migrant drownings, not France
It is Britain who bears the weight of migrant drownings in crossing the Channel, not France, president Emmanuel Macron has said.
Speaking to a regional newspaper in northern France, Macron said: “The responsibility for those who die at sea does not fall upon France but upon this British refusal.”
It is the latest act of blame pushing following the tragedy in November which saw 27 refugees drown in the waters between the UK and France.
After the incident, the worst of its kind, prime minister Boris Johnson urged the French president to take back those who had entered Britain illegally.
Macron refused and is seeking an agreement between the UK and the European Union (EU), which would see some migrants sent back after crossing, as long as Britain pledges to allow an equal number of asylum seekers in.
In another interview with La Voix du Nord, Macron said “The British continue to have a system from the 1980s, which manages economic immigration through hypocrisy.
“There is no legal immigration route.”
The French president added that he is going to “step up the pressure” in negotiations with the UK and the EU.
“The British must articulate their needs in terms of the economy and reopen a path to legal asylum requests,” he said.