France’s Interior Minister has tried to throw the ball back into UK’s court this morning after tragic deaths of at least 27 on a people smuggler’s dinghy crossing Channel to Britain. UK government has accused France of not doing enough to stop boats leaving French shores but /1
Minister Darmanin criticised the UK immigration system. He said France expels four times the number of illegal arrivals (found to have no claim to asylum) per year than the UK. He also said the UK labour market was perceived as easy to access by migrants without legal papers /2
France is trying to spread responsibility for combatting the people-smuggling trade. Darmanin said it was an international problem. President Macron called on EU to help better control its borders. He agreed last night with Boris Johnson that they would definitely need help /3
Of coastal neighbours Belgium and Netherlands in combatting the people smugglers #migrantdeaths /4

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

25 Nov
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron spoke last night and agreed to intensify cooperation and efforts to stop people smuggling across the #Channel This, after at least 27 people died yesterday attempting the crossing BUT behind scenes French-UK finger-pointing continues. UK gov /1
Has accused French of not doing enough to stop illegal crossings to Britain. French have accused UK of being a magnet for illegal arrivals, they say:’lax about detaining people+making it too easy to find work’. Paris wants UK to issue ‘humanitarian visas’ to stop people risking/2
their lives to make illegal crossing. UK wants France to patrol its 150km long coastline better to stop the people smuggler trade. Illegal Channel crossings have increased since UK and France stepped up controls on Channel tunnel #channeldeaths /3
Read 5 tweets
16 Nov
Well this is big if not entirely unexpected - The Certification procedure for controversial #NordStream 2 pipeline-designed to send gas supplies directly from Russia to Germany - has been suspended for now. Moscow won’t be pleased but /1…
It’ll calm (for a bit) the internal row in Germany +amongst EU countries over whether the pipeline is a) environmentally sound b) makes Germany/EU even more reliant on Russia for its energy. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel was often criticised for going too easy onRussia /2
Accused of putting German economic interests before politics/diplomacy w Russia esp after Crimea. Ukraine was furious about the pipeline - but Germany’s Network Agency has now ruled that Ukraine must be part of Nordstream certification process /3
Read 6 tweets
10 Nov
EU diplomat on today‘s Brexit discussion amongst representatives of EU 27+EU Commission:
„The EU is preparing for the triggering of Article 16 by the UK. There is consensus among EU that such an arbitrary and unjustified move by the UK will be met with a clear European response.”
Diplomat adds that there is still hope -but that it’s waning - that negotiations w uk over the Protocol could be successful. He said EU retaliation if UK triggers article 16 would depend on what UK plans to do /2
Would uk government trigger article 16 to please a domestic audience but continue to apply checks on goods on the ground? asked the EU diplomat OR would uk reduce checks or abandon the protocol altogether? In each of those scenarios, the EU response would differ /3
Read 9 tweets
1 Nov
On fish and the Castex letter : The French PM did not call for the UK to be punished or damaged over Brexit BUT EU figures I speak to, accept the way the letter is written leaves it open to that interpretation /1
Privately, representatives of other EU member states describe the letter as ‘unfortunate’ or worse, considering the already high tensions between France and UK over fish and UK and wider EU over Protocol BUT /2
Despite a clear sense (and some irritation) in EU that Macron has been using the row over fish to flash his nationalist credentials ahead of Presidential elections in France, there is also some wider EU sympathy for French position. Trust in UK gov is v low in EU circles /3
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct
Little appetite in EU capitals for trade war with UK. Berlin focussing on building new government, Everyone worrying about gas prices. Lord Fost’s Lisbon speech is no game changer for the EU, it seems BUT tensions over NIreland Protocol are very real /1
EU and UK agree the Protocol hasnt been working in many ways on the ground. Tomorrow the EU will unveil what it calls practical solutions to concrete problems - Ways to reduce checks on goods and animal products (eg sausages!), ensuring medicines travel smoothly GB-NI and /2
EU will I’m told undertake to engage more w the authorities as well as business + civil society in NIreland. EU will underline tomorrow these are proposals to help people of NIreland. Brussels keen not to be seen to bend to what one EU diplomat described to me as “bullying /3
Read 10 tweets
26 Sep
Voting has begun in Germany to elect a new parliament (polls open 8am – 6pm CET). It’s almost the end of the Merkel era in German politics after 16 years as Chancellor BUT .. #GermanElection2021 /1
Today’s vote is just stage one in the process to form Germany’s next government. The country is preparing itself for lengthy and possibly fractious coalition negotiations. Angela Merkel will remain caretaker chancellor in the interim /2
The What Next after Merkel has proved hard to predict. Race to replace her is expected to be tight: between Armin Laschet a Europhile conservative from her CDU party and Olaf Scholz – a centrist Social Democrat + Germany’s current Finance Minister. The Green Party is tipped.. /3
Read 5 tweets

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