France is to put forward proposals for tackling the Channel migrant crisis as the interior minister suggested talks with the UK could resume.
Gerald Darmanin has said prime minister Jean Castex will be writing to Boris Johnson on Tuesday with proposals for a â€œbalanced agreementâ€ between the UK and the EU.
He said discussions could take place â€œvery quicklyâ€ if the British are prepared to enter negotiations in a â€œserious spiritâ€.
A Government source said it appeared to be a â€œpositiveâ€ move after the diplomatic row which erupted following the capsize last week of a migrant boat with the loss of 27 lives.
Mr Johnson infuriated French president Emmanuel Macron when he posted a letter on Twitter calling for joint patrols on French beaches and the return to France of migrants who succeed in making the dangerous Channel crossing.
Mr Macron said it was not a serious way to negotiate, while Home Secretary Priti Patel was disinvited from a meeting in Calais on Sunday of ministers from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany to discuss the crisis.
But speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mr Darmanin said the two countries needed to work together to deal with a shared problem.
â€œFrom the moment there is no more double-speak, and we can discuss in a serious spirit, and our private exchanges correspond to our public exchanges, the French government is ready to very quickly resume discussions with Great Britain,â€ he said.
Mr Darmanin said the proposals by Mr Castex could include ways to open up legal routes to the UK and for asylum seekers and to allow unaccompanied minors to join relatives in Britain.
However he said France could not accept the practice of turning back boats at sea, adding â€œThis is a red line for the French governmentâ€.
Meanwhile Mr Johnson is due to hold talks online with another of the key European players â€“ Belgian prime minister Alexander de Croo.
Downing Street continues to insist a returns agreement, as set out by Mr Johnson in his letter, would be the â€œsingle biggest deterrentâ€ to migrants attempting the Channel crossing.
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