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EU heads meet on migrants: France decides Britain must be made 'less attractive'

BBC's Adler warns EU to spiral into new migrant crisis

Top European Officials met today in the French port of Calais to find ways to better fight migrant smuggling.

Giving a speech at the meeting, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that Britain must be "responsible" by making the country "less attractive for migrants".

He added that the French won't be "held hostage" by Britain's domestic politics.

According to Sky News, he also said that the migrant issue is not "anti-English".

This comes after at least 28 people died trying to cross the English Channel last week.

Notably, Britain is absent from the meeting, taking place at the Calais City Hall.

The French government withdrew their invitation to Home Secretary Priti Patel after Boris Johnson called on France to take back people who crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats.

Mr Johnson wrote a letter to President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday night setting out five steps to avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s tragedy.

But France hit out at the letter, which was sent publicly as a tweet in time for the front pages of UK newspapers.

French officials confirmed Mr Macron had not seen the letter before Johnson tweeted it.

Speaking in a previous interview on Thursday, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that Britain's "labor force" of "illegal immigrants" is fueling heightened numbers of migrants making dangerous boat crossing across the Channel.

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Migrant meeting

France has decided that Britain must be made less attractive to migrants (Image: Getty)

In an interview with the French radio station RTL, Mr Darmanin said: "Everyone knows there are more than 1.2 million illegal immigrants in Great Britain, and that British employers use this labour force to make things that the British manufacture and consume."

He also pointed the finger at "poor" immigration handling in Britain, and compared France's deportation numbers to the U.K.'s.

He said: "It is often said that France doesn't deport enough, but we deport about 20,000 people a year.

"[the U.K.] expels 6,000, four times less than France, even though there are more people and twice as many illegal immigrants."