May not be smirking for much longer ...
Until the Omicron story broke, along with the news that scores of those carrying the variant had arrived from South Africa and dispersed among the population, spreading it all over the transport system as they went, the Government’s major headache was the arrival of refugees from France, crossing the Channel in inflatable boats.
The problem for Bozo and his inexplicably elevated Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was not only that the boats kept on coming, but that their attempt to use the pages of the Daily Mail as a form of diplomacy riled the French, so much so that Ms Patel found herself disinvited from a gathering which would discuss ways of tackling the problem.
Added to this was Bozo’s habit of saying one thing to one person, and then a totally different thing to the next person, which in turn alienated French Président Emmanuel Macron, who right now is the last person our PM needs to lose. Because Macron is the only big French name who is not yet advocating scrapping the Le Touquet accords.
What they? This refers to a 2003 treaty that allows the UK to police its border at locations like the port of Calais. Thus it is easy to turn back refugees before they get aboard a ferry. French border controls, conversely, are performed before boarding ferries or Eurotunnel shuttles departing from the UK. But, whisper it quietly, nothing is forever.
... if he has anything to do with it
The constant stream of hostile invective emanating from Bozo and his pals, and directed in the general direction of the French, has become an issue in the upcoming Presidential Election. And one candidate whose name is familiar to UK politics watchers has already asserted that the Le Touquet agreement should be scrapped.
Michel Barnier (for it is he) has done enough to spook the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker: “The EU's former Brexit negotiator has dramatically urged France to tear up its migrant treaty with Britain and send asylum-seekers across the Channel as tensions between London and Paris boil over … Michel Barnier … vowed that he would pull France out of the Treaty of Touquet governing Anglo-French border relations if he wins the ballot”.
There was more. “Paris has complained that, in practice, they are managing the British border with mainland Europe. They have also claimed that the treaty has resulted in huge numbers of migrants setting up campsites - such as the infamous Jungle dismantled in 2016 - at its ports as they attempt to enter Britain”. Which would mean what, exactly?
Simples. Refugees would be able to board ferries and present their asylum claims on arrival at Dover, or wherever in the UK they land. No more people trafficking, no more inflatable boats, no more needless drownings, and best of all, no endless stream of images for the press to use as it tries to frighten its readers.
The downside? Priti Patel would be toast. Maybe not such a downside after all.
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