Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting as part of the first UK-France summit in five years. It is understood the migrant Channel crossing crisis will be discussed by the two leaders. BBC Breakfast host Charlie Stayt was shut down by James Cleverly MP on Friday’s instalment of the show as the Foreign Secretary refused to “speculate the outcomes of the negotiation”.
The Prime Minister is in Paris to push for France to go further in stopping migrants from crossing the Channel in small boats.
Clevery appeared on BBC Breakfast from Paris via video link ahead of discussions about the Illegal Migration Bill.
The politician said: “On the migration issue, we are looking at ways of enhancing the cooperation we already have with the French authorities to try and prevent those small boats coming from the French coast to the UK.”
He said the Government is “really looking at ways to bring those numbers down” as he claimed there’s an “unprecedented amount of people trying to come into the UK illicitly”.
Stayt asked if the UK Government was prepared to spend more money to offer France to do policing work.
“We will be negotiating how we fund that joint work to prevent those migration attempts across the Channel,” the MP said. “But I am not going to speculate the outcomes of the negotiation.”
Stayt later said: “Just to be clear, because this is very important, the Government is saying a lot that there will be other safe and legal routes.
“You as Foreign Secretary must have an idea as to what they are or is there literally nothing on paper at this stage. Can you give us an indication of what they will be?”
The broadcaster added: “My question is about the additional ones, I don’t want to go through the ones we’ve heard before.”
However, the MP snapped back: “Well, I do, because it’s really important.
“Charlie, if you can predict accurately what future event in the world will drive large-scale migration then fantastic, I’ll be all ears.
“But the simple fact is we don’t know when the next war is going to [happen], we don’t know where the next humanitarian disaster is going to be.
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“Speculating what a future safe and legal route would look like is nonsense unless you can also predict where the next global tragedy is going to be.”
Cleverly reiterated how he wanted to “get a grip of the illegal trafficking of people”.
“We are also making it clear that we remain a generous country and we will provide safe routes,” he added.
The interview divided BBC Breakfast viewers, with Auld Bryan tweeting: “#BBCbreakfast Charlie is struggling today… Did he forget to eat his Weetabix?”
Leo penned: “Always painful when #Charlie tries a serious interview!
The idea that illegal immigrants will complete an application form at a processing centre is funny.
“The clue is in the word illegal. They aren’t entitled to be here. Time for Charlie to be replaced!”
Peter Anderson said: “James Cleverly challenged on #BBCBreakfast about the other ‘safe and legal routes’ and backing the words of Suella he dodges both questions.” (sic)
Doddsy added: “Charlie Stayt skewering James Cleverly with Suella Braverman’s scaremongering 100 million figure was lovely to see. Cleverly is utterly useless. #BBCBreakfast.” (sic)
BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One between 6am and 9.15am.
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