If Boris Johnson wants to stop the Channel crossings, he has to work with Emmanuel Macron

Editorial: The boats from France are a good example of the kind of problem that encouraged European countries to come together in the first place

Monday 10 August 2020 19:15
Brexit makes it harder to ask the French to do our border control for us
Brexit makes it harder to ask the French to do our border control for us

The prime minister added to the heatwave with a blast of hot air yesterday. He said he wanted to “look at the legal framework” governing people crossing the Channel in small boats. He spoke as if his government has the power unilaterally to stop this traffic, thus exposing the folly of UK isolationism.

As leader of the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum, he has to pretend that leaving the EU gives him more power to control our borders. As a former foreign secretary, he should know better.

The situation was described with commendable clarity by David Miliband, another former foreign secretary, who offered his textual analysis of the government’s message: “The first sentence is ‘take back control’. The second sentence says: ‘We’ve got to get the French to do more.’ And so you’re immediately into a reality of the modern world that ... you rely on other people doing things.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments