Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron on Thursday were struggling to agree on a joint media response deaths of 27 migrants drowners trying to cross the English Channel from France yesterday.
The UK and French governments, which have been hampered by tensions since Brexit, denounced the smuggling network and vowed to crack down on terrorists as security seekers risked their lives in small boats.
“We want a strong European partnership on this, as France is a dynamic country,” the French president said during a visit to Croatia.
Tensions escalated between the UK and France yesterday when Priti Patel, Britain’s secretary general, said it was the responsibility of the French government to stop people crossing the Channel. “I am committed to working with France to establish officers and to do everything possible to protect the region so that vulnerable people do not risk their lives by boarding invading boats,” he told House of commons.
Macron added that France is asking for “strengthening Britain again. Because I remind you, by this time, we will have British borders.”
The president of France said the necessary agreement to move forward with Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and the European Commission. Jean Castex, his Prime Minister, is summoning the country’s immigration ministers to a meeting in Calais on Sunday to discuss the issue.
Johnson wrote to Macron on Thursday evening outlining five ideas the UK Prime Minister has said he could alleviate the problem, including repeating sea voyages on behalf of each other.
Johnson added that a two-state solution to the repatriation of migrants to France “could have immediate consequences” for those who want to cross the railways.
“If immigrants are repatriated as soon as possible, the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of smugglers can be reduced,” Johnson said.
Both Johnson and Macron are in opposition from anti-immigrant politicians who think they have failed to stop thousands of asylum seekers and others from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The two migrants who were rescued Wednesday and recovered from the severe hypothermia were from Iraq and Somalia.
Macron has already begun to tighten his stance on the move ahead of his April nomination campaign against anti-immigrant activists such as Eric Zemmour politician and right-wing politician Marine Le Pen.
Cooperation between London and Paris has been strained by post-Brexit disputes, and in some cases controversial comments, between French and UK leaders on everything from migration to fishing licenses, Covid-19 principles and the implementation of the Northern protocol Ireland. .
Gérard Romiti, head of the French fishing committee, said yesterday that fishermen would use buses to close three ports – Calais, Saint-Malo and Ouistreham near Caen – as well as a route to the Channel Tunnel on Friday as a “warning” to the UK over its refusal to provide. adequate permits for French fishing boats after Brexit.
The UK migration figures released Thursday showed the effects of the migration of small boats to the UK asylum system. It received 15,104 applications in the quarter of July to September, 60 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2020. Applications for the year to September increased by 18 percent in September 2020, to 37,562.
However, for the year to June – the last time comparisons were possible – 37,235 programs received remained the UK’s fourth-largest in Europe due to the number of protected requests received, behind 113,625 in Germany and 87,180 in France.
Hundreds gathered in Calais and Dunkirk Thursday evening to mourn the loss of refugees at sea as they tried to make their way across the street, candles burning and speaking in English and Arabic.
Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president and chairman of the ports of Calais and Boulogne, said he was “tired” of the lack of assistance provided to vulnerable people in the camps around the city and that the number of police officers along the 130km coast was “not an answer. “.
He said millions of euros spent on the police instead would be used to create a training center for immigrants, paid for by European countries, who would be able to accommodate asylum seekers and help them fix their needs. It was “a failure of the EU and the UK” that such a system had not yet been developed to treat refugees kindly, “he said.
Additional reports by Eir Nolsoe and Domitille Alain in Paris