Thursday evening UK news briefing: Emmanuel Macron warns Boris Johnson not to 'exploit' migrant crisis

·7 min read
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

The big story: Macron clashes with Johnson on crisis

After the tragedy comes the scramble to appear to be taking action.

Yet as Priti Patel reiterated in the Commons today, there is "no quick fix" to the migrant crisis which saw at least 27 people perish in the Channel on Wednesday - and it is unclear what action it is that should be taken.

Britain has been pushing for British Border Force and police officers to join French beach patrols, but until now this has been resisted by France partly due to concerns that it threatens their sovereignty.

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron held talks within hours of the disaster but the French president has warned the Prime Minister not to "exploit" the Channel tragedy for political ends in a statement after their phone call.

So what are the possible Anglo-French solutions to the crisis? Charles Hymas analyses the 10 courses of action Mr Johnson could take.

What is thought to be the remains of the boat that capsized in the Channel and resulted in the deaths of 27 people - Sky News
What is thought to be the remains of the boat that capsized in the Channel and resulted in the deaths of 27 people - Sky News

Despite the risks and the evidence of the devastating consequences when things go wrong, still migrants continue to make the journey to the UK.

Dozens more desperate families attempted to cross the Channel to Britain this morning, with an RNLI lifeboat and Border Force vessel BF Valiant intercepting two flimsy boats.

The image above, showing what is thought to be what remains of the vessel which capsized seven miles off the coast of France on Wednesday, shows the dangers faced by those putting their lives in the hands of smugglers.

Our liveblog will keep you up to date with all the developments on this ongoing human crisis.

'Pull factors' to UK

Why, then, do people think it is worth taking such risks? Earlier, Gérald Darmanin, the French interior minister, said the "attractiveness" of the British job market was one of the reasons that people keep trying to cross.

Ms Patel has urged that "pull factors" that draw illegal migrants to the UK must be addressed.

Some migrants will be fleeing persecution for their politics or sexuality.

Others will be leaving wartorn countries such as Afghanistan after its fall to the Taliban, Syria or Iraq.

Europe Editor James Crisps analyses what motivates people to attempt the perilous crossing and what they have to go through as they make the journey.

France backtracks

To give an idea of the scale of the crisis, 25,700 people, more than three times the numbers who made the crossing last year, have attempted to reach Britain by sea this year.

Asylum claims made in the UK have risen to their highest level for nearly 20 years amid a surge in Channel crossings, according to new figures from the Home Office.

The backlog of cases waiting to be dealt with is also at a record high.

Yet despite the huge numbers of people, hurdles remain in bringing those responsible to justice.

France today backtracked on claims to have arrested smugglers behind the migrant tragedy that saw at least 27 drown.

Covid briefing: Latest essential headlines

Around the world: Haile Gebraselassie set to join war

All British nationals in Ethiopia have been told to leave "immediately" as it was announced the country's Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister has left to fight on the frontline against rebels advancing on the capital. The news came as Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie said he was ready to trade in his running shoes for army boots and head to the frontline to fight alongside prime minister Abiy Ahmed, according to state media. Gebrselassie is regarded as a living legend in Ethiopia, akin to David Beckham in the UK. His comments are being seen as a clear attempt to rally public support behind the war effort as rebels approach the capital Addis Ababa. Read on for the context of the conflict.

Thursday long-read

Eddie Jones exclusive: My vision for England was inspired by billionaire owner of Uniqlo

Eddie Jones book extract
Eddie Jones book extract

In extracts from his new book, England head coach Eddie Jones reveals his plan to be greatest side in rugby history - and how a samurai sword and kiwi fruit helped beat the All Blacks

Read the full extract

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Man Utd's new boss - Wenger to return?

Manchester United are in advanced talks with Ralf Rangnick about becoming interim manager on a six-month contract at Old Trafford. Read on for details of the impending appointment. It comes as Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal have spoken with Arsene Wenger about the former manager making a possible return to the club. In tennis, as Emma Raducanu posts photos of her off-season training block, what has become of the woman she replaced as British No 1? Or, to put it more directly, is Johanna Konta heading for retirement? Simon Briggs examines the mystery of her disappearing tennis career. In rugby, after the autumn internationals, Ben Coles analyses England's depth chart and grades the resources available to Eddie Jones in each position.

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Business briefing: Turkey becoming inflation victim

Recep Tayyip Erdogan may placed his own future on the line as he pledged to lead Turkey in fighting an "economic war of independence" against markets. As the president forces his central bank into market-rattling interest rate cuts that defy the laws of economics, prices are soaring and the country's currency is in freefall - along with his people's confidence. Read how fearful Turks are waving the white flag after the lira's stunning implosion in recent days. Meanwhile, new figures show more than 300,000 European workers have left Britain in the past two years as a pandemic exodus deepens labour shortages. As if that was not enough bad news, the office Christmas party remains on the endangered list as fewer employers book pubs for gatherings this festive season.

Tonight starts now

The Beatles: Get Back | Based on 57 hours of footage that had been locked in a vault, unseen for 50 years, and a further 150 hours of audio, this extraordinary three-part, six-hour documentary (being released today, tomorrow and Saturday on Disney+), plunges us back into 1969 and a London recording studio where, two months before they split up, The Beatles are feverishly writing and recording 14 new songs for the album that would eventually be released as Let It Be – the last they made together. Read Neil McCormick's review of the Peter Jackson's truly fab epic The Beatles: Get Back and read on for more of tonight's TV listings.

Three things for you

And for this evening's downtime....

Audi SQ2 review | Once upon a time, a hot hatch was a hot hatch. You knew where you stood. But today, things are not so simple. This one, for example, masquerades as an SUV. Alex Robbins details why this smart, slick and charming compact performance crossover has inherited the mantle of the rapid hatches of yesteryear.

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