Boris Johnson Tells France to Stop Taking Migrants as UK Accuses Paris of Losing Control
In July, Paris and London signed an agreement on assistance in tackling illegal immigration. Yet, since the deal was inked the UK has accused its ally of not doing enough to prevent migrants arriving in France from later crossing into Britain.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged France to act on the migrant crisis as Britain saw a record number of daily arrivals this week. Some 1,185 people crossed from France into the UK on Thursday, the Home Office said. In a veiled attack on Paris, PM Johnson signalled that French authorities are unwilling to deal with the issue.
“They are coming from France. In the end, if the French will not or cannot control those departures it is very difficult for us to turn them back at sea. We want to do that in a humane and safe way but it is very difficult. What I’d say to our French friends is if you close off the door to the corridor at the far end then people won’t come into the corridor at the other end. We’ve got to stop people coming into France to come to the UK”, Boris Johnson said.
A government insider accused France of losing control of the situation, the BBC reported. MP Natalie Elphicke, representing Dover, said it is not credible that over 1,000 migrants could “hop onto small boats” and cross into the United Kingdom “without the French authorities noticing”.
“The French need to get a grip and clamp down on the organised criminal gangs who are behind this problem”, Ms Elphicke said.
UK media outlets write that the latest arrival has taken the number of migrants to over 23,500 this year.
Last month, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said if Paris doesn’t do more to stop the flow of refugees coming to Britain, London would withhold the £54 million ($72.4 million) it had promised to pay France as part of its agreement on tackling immigration.
UK authorities believe that reform of the country’s immigration system may solve the problem. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new law will distinguish between people, who arrived in the country legally and illegally. Reports say under the new rules individuals, who arrived in the country illegally, including those who come by boat, will no longer have entitlement to claim asylum in Britain.
The reform is likely to face heated debates in parliament as it has prompted opposition both from MPs and human rights organisations. The Refugee Council said people fleeing war and terror don’t have the luxury of choosing how to claim asylum.
“Nobody puts their life at risk unless they are absolutely desperate and feel they have no other options”, the British Red Cross said commenting on the proposed reform.
The people who cross the Channel mainly come from African and Middle Eastern nations, many of which are torn by war. These include Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, and Yemen.