Tory minister mocks Macron for calling Boris a clown ‘It’s pantomime season!’
Macron slammed for ‘pantomime’ comments about Johnson
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Reports from French magazine, Le Canard Enchaine, claims President Emmanuel Macron described Boris Johnson’s government as a “circus” in private and even branded the Prime Minister as a “clown”. Mr Macron’s words come as cross-channel relations tumble to new lows following the migrant crisis and fallout from the AUKUS deal announced earlier this year. George Freeman appeared on Sky News addressing the comments and skewered the French president for playing up to the public because an election is looming.
Le Canard Enchaine claimed Mr Macron said Mr Johnson was trying to portray himself as a victim to avoid the blame of a “catastrophic” Brexit.
Former French ambassador to London, Sylvie Bermann, told Times Radio that relations had “never been so bad since Waterloo”.
Sky News presenter Kay Burley wanted to know what Mr Freeman thought of the comments and what his response would be.
He replied: “Well, I think we’re in a pantomime season, aren’t we? And there’s a French election coming.
“It’s a pretty unhelpful word because the Prime Minister isn’t a clown, he’s the elected prime minister of this country with a very big mandate leading this country through the pandemic.
“The truth is we are looking to work very closely with France on the border issue on tackling the problem of European migration at source.
“That’s why we’re investing in trying to stabilise countries so that people aren’t coming here.
“With France, we need to make sure that people in France are being supplied with boats and being pushed out of the channel.”
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Mr Freeman said Home Secretary Priti Patel was working closely with her French counterparts to address the issue of illegal migration.
He added the relationship between the two countries was actually better than the quote suggests.
Ms Patel was uninvited from key migrant talks after the Prime Minister published an open letter to the French Government laying out demands for the migrant crisis.
In the letter, the UK Government called for an increase in intelligence sharing, more manned and unmanned aerial surveillance and UK forces aiding the French with patrols.
However, Mr Macron flipped out at the letter and did not think it was the right way to conduct talks and so uninvited the Home Secretary from an emergency migrant summit.
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Former Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, appeared on French television and said it was a deliberate provocation from Mr Johnson.
France has resisted plans to bring UK troops on French land who would help authorities monitor their northern coast.
En Marche politician Bruno Bonnell explained he could support the move if it was not done to make the French look complacent.
Last week, 27 people died crossing the Channel after their boat capsized making it one of the worst disasters in the stretch of water.
Tensions between France and the UK have continued to bubble as record numbers of boats have crossed the Channel into the UK.
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