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Macron tells Johnson to ‘get serious’ on Channel crisis after tweeted letter

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(The Guardian) President Emmanuel Macron has told Boris Johnson to “get serious” or remain locked out of discussions over how to curb the flow of people escaping war and poverty across the Channel.

In a further sign of an escalating diplomatic crisis since the deaths of 27 people on Wednesday, the French leader criticised the UK’s decision to issue a five-point plan via Twitter instead of conducting bilateral talks.

The letter to Macron was sent publicly as a tweet in time for the front pages of UK newspapers.

“I spoke two days ago with Prime Minister Johnson in a serious way,” Macron said at a press conference on Friday. “For my part I continue to do that, as I do with all countries and all leaders. I am surprised by methods when they are not serious.

“We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public. We are not whistleblowers. Come on. Come on,” he said.

His words followed the French government’s decision on Friday to withdraw an invitation to the home secretary, Priti Patel, to attend a meeting on the issue.

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