According to French media, the president described the UK as a “great country” abandoned by its leader. Le Canard Enchaine reported saying in a meeting during a visit to Croatia: “BoJo is talking to me, full speed, everything is fine, we have adult chats, then he hits us before or after in an inelegant way. It’s still the same circus. “
The president added: “It is very sad to see a great country, with which we could do so many things, led by a clown.”
Responding this afternoon, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said he had not seen the comments.
However, he added: “The important thing that the public on both sides of the Channel want us to do is focus on how we avoid further loss of life.”
On November 24, 27 migrants drowned while trying to make the perilous Channel crossing in small boats.
READ MORE: Priti Patel, ‘headless chicken’, to speak in European capitals
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson added: “We continue to have a very close working relationship with the French government and our French counterparts and we will continue to work with them on a number of issues, including resolving the issue of small boats “.
Despite the war of words, France has pledged to make proposals to deal with the migrant crisis in the Channel and even suggested that discussions with Ms. Patel could resume.
It is believed that the letter has not yet reached No10.
Downing Street continued to insist that a return agreement, as Mr Johnson indicated in his original letter which infuriated the French president, would be the “greatest deterrent” for migrants who attempt the sea voyage.
A return agreement with the European Union would allow the UK to return people to the member state where their trip originated, such as France or elsewhere, if their asylum claims are rejected after arriving in Grande -Brittany.
London pushed for such a deal during Brexit talks, but Brussels declined the offer.
Mr Darmanin said talks could take place “very quickly” if the British are ready to enter into negotiations in a “serious spirit”.
Mr Darmanin said Mr Castex’s proposals could include ways to open legal channels to the UK for asylum seekers and allow unaccompanied minors to join relatives in Britain.