British Foreign Secretary Chris Philp visited Paris on Tuesday to discuss the increase in migratory crossings from the French coast to Britain. He assured that Paris shared London’s desire to make the canal “impractical” for illegal crossings.
London and Paris have agreed to make the channel “impossible” for illegal migrant crossings, said Tuesday, August 11, Chris Philp, the British Foreign Secretary, visiting France to meet with his French colleagues.
Speaking from the British Embassy in Paris after a meeting described as “constructive”, the Secretary of State added that it was too early to comment on economic commitments between the two countries.
“We have reaffirmed our shared and unrivaled commitment to make this channel transmission impractical,” said Chris Philp. “It is facilitated by ruthless criminal gangs and puts lives in danger,” he added. The British official also referred to a “new operational plan” between the two countries and indicated that France would appoint a coordinator to handle this file.
“A common problem”
Asked about the funding of this plan, which must involve strengthening the means used by France to combat illegal immigration at the maritime border, politicians replied: “We realize that this is a common problem. Can we come to a common plan, is we are obviously ready to support it (…) with all the means necessary for it to be a success “.
The British newspaper Sunday Telegraph revealed in its latest issue that the French government will ask the British government to pay £ 30 million (EUR 33.2 million) to ensure the channel’s controls.
A few hours before the meeting was organized this Tuesday in Paris, State Secretary for Health Edward Argar had stated that London required more flexibility to return illegal immigrants to France by considering the strict Dublin Regulation governing the asylum system in the European Union.
Former British Marine Infantry Corps Dan O’Mahoney was appointed on Sunday, August 9, by Home Secretary Priti Patel as the newly created commander of the migrant threat illegal immigrants in the English Channel. His “main responsibility will be to make the canal impossible for junctions with small craft,” the Home Office said in a statement.
Hundreds of successful passages
Taking advantage of the tranquility, due to confinement, in this ultra-dense sea area, some 4,000 migrants spread over 300 boats have managed since the beginning of the year at this crossing, according to figures from the BBC. Qualified as extremely dangerous, the passage through the canal is also very profitable for smugglers.
Taking advantage of favorable weather and sea conditions, several hundred people, including children and pregnant women, have crossed the 33 kilometers between the French and English coasts in recent days on board small boats.
The issue of migratory crossings has long been on the menu for discussions between France and the United Kingdom. Recently, the two powers have put in place joint action strategies: a plan to combat illegal sea crossings – which is currently being completed – aimed at strengthening controls at the coasts and upstream of the main crossing points, and a “Franco-British intelligence unit”.
On the occasion of this cell, last month, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had reminded his British counterpart that he needed “additional resources”.