Britain needs French cooperation to tackle Channel migrant crisis, says health minister

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LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Britain needs French cooperation to curb the flow of migrants from across the English Channel, health minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday, defending a letter Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to the French president.

Last week, Johnson wrote to French President Emmanuel Macron setting out five steps the two countries could take to deter migrants from making the perilous journey after 27 people died trying to cross the Channel.

In response, France cancelled an invitation to British interior minister Priti Patel to attend a meeting on the issue, deepening a rift between the two countries which are also at loggerheads over post-Brexit trading rules and fishing rights.

“It must stop. Now of course we can’t just do it on our own, we do need the cooperation of the French … I hope the French will… work with us,” Javid told Sky News.

He later told Times Radio: “I think the prime minister was absolutely right to set out the five areas where we certainly could cooperate more.”

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Louise Heavens)

Photo – A UK border force ship off Kent, Britain. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

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