UK calls on France to do more to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel | France
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Downing Street has called on the French government to do more to stem the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats amid a growing diplomatic row over who bears the greatest responsibility.
This follows an intervention by the French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, who claimed that his country was being treated as a “punch bag” by a British government which failed to regulate its unregulated labor market. .
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson highlighted the £ 54million the British government has given France to boost its patrols on its north coast, from which many boats are launched.
“We are providing funds to the French to enable them to increase surveillance, to enable them to increase the police presence which is there to prevent these level crossings.
“Thanks to this investment, we have seen the stoppages increase, and this is to be welcomed, but it is clear that with the level of level crossings that we see per day, there is still a lot to do”, a- he declared.
“It is clear that we must continue to work with our French counterparts to do more to prevent these crossings, which put lives at risk,” said the spokesperson.
“This is why the Minister of the Interior is seeking to meet with her counterpart to make these points and respond to this unexpected increase in the number of illegal migrants arriving from France that we see unfolding before us.”
Earlier, Darmanin said it was the UK’s inaction that encouraged people to attempt the perilous crossing.
“Why are people going to Calais? It’s to go to Great Britain. And why do they want to go to Britain? This is because the labor market operates largely in Great Britain thanks to a large army or reserves – as Karl Marx said – of people in an irregular situation but who can work cheaply, of course, ”he said. -he declares.
“We are not taking lessons from the British… they must stop using us as a punching bag for their domestic politics. We are neither their collaborators nor their assistants.
“I remind my British counterpart that the NGOs that prevent the police and gendarmes from working [in Calais] are largely British NGOs with British citizens who are on French territory and who engage in agitprop.
“The smugglers, who organize networks and exploit women and children… are very often themselves in Britain. “
Darmanin told CNews that the UK government needs to change its laws to discourage migrants from being lured into the UK.
“If the British toughened their legislation – they started doing it but not far enough – people would no longer be in Calais or Dunkirk,” he said.
Last Thursday, around 1,185 people crossed the English Channel by boat, a record number of crossings in a single day. There were concerns that three people drowned in the busy seaway. More than 23,000 people have crossed the Channel to the UK by boat so far this year, a marked increase from 8,400 in 2020. The UK government has accused France of failing to control the situation.
Young children were rushed ashore in Dover on Monday after more people risked death crossing the English Channel. A toddler wrapped in a light blue hoodie watched border officials as he was carried in a woman’s arms.
Reports claimed that a jetski used to cross the Channel was recovered at sea by the RNLI and towed ashore at Dungeness.
French authorities are growing angry at anonymous briefings from Whitehall claiming that Paris is breaking its word and spending UK money to prevent people from traveling to the UK.
Patel said at the weekend that France “must stop 100% of the boats” attempting to cross, suggests Monday’s meeting between the two ministers will be extremely tense.
French police say that even if they prevent more crossings, they cannot stop all attempts because there are too many migrants and the shore is too long to patrol around the clock.
They also point to international maritime law, which prevents intervention once people traveling to the UK are in a boat on the water.
Claire Millot, general secretary of the Salam association, which helps migrants on the Calais coast, told French media: “Since this summer, crossings in small boats have increased enormously. There were very few drownings so the news spread and the attempts multiplied.
She said the onset of winter and less favorable weather conditions could lead to more deaths. “It’s about to change, we are very afraid that despite the winter, the crossings will continue and the tragedies too,” she said.
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