Good morning. Last evening Boris Johnson launched the textual content of an open letter (pdf) despatched to the French president, Emmanuel Macron, suggesting numerous measures France might take to assist cease folks crossing the Channel on small boats. One of his proposals was that France ought to simply merely take folks again after they’ve arrived in Britain.
As he defined it in a Twitter thread, this might function an enormous deterrent, he argued.
The letter has gone down very badly in Paris. As my colleague Rajeev Syal stories, the French have now informed Priti Patel, the house secretary, she is now not invited to a gathering being held on Sunday to debate the state of affairs.
If the Johnson letter was meant to additional cooperation with the French, it has clearly backfired very badly. But as a result of of Johnson’s choice to make it public, there are suspicions that it was written primarily for a home viewers, somewhat than for the Élysée Palace, and that the PM simply desires to make sure that British voters blame France, not his government, for the continuing crossings.
On the Today programme this morning Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, insisted that Johnson had acted “in good faith” and that the letter was not “inflammatory”. He informed the programme:
I feel it’s actually vital that we work hand-in-glove with the French. I don’t assume there may be something inflammatory to ask for shut cooperation with our nearest neighbours.
The proposal was made in good religion. I can guarantee our French buddies of that and I hope that they’ll rethink assembly as much as focus on it.
Here is the agenda for the day
9.30am: MPs debate the second studying of Liam Fox’s personal member’s Down syndrome invoice.
9.30am: The ONS publishes provisional extra dying figures for final winter.
11am: French fishers plan to dam the port of Calais in protest over post-Brexit fishing licences. Later they plan to dam the Channel tunnel.
11.30am: Downing Street holds its foyer briefing.
12pm: The ONS publishes its newest weekly Covid an infection survey.
12pm: David Frost, the Brexit minister, meets his EU counterpart, Maroš Šefčovič, in London within the newest spherical of talks on the Northern Irish protocol.
2pm: Keith Brown, the SNP deputy chief (or depute chief, because the SNP calls the put up, utilizing the Scottish spelling), offers a speech on the SNP’s on-line convention.
Afternoon: Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru chief, will probably be talking at his get together convention.
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