Channel crossing: New tensions between Britain and France as ministers admit only five migrants returned to Europe this year politics news

Efforts to stop illegal Channel crossings between Britain and France were fueled by new tensions – on the same day it was revealed that only five migrants had returned to Europe so far this year after traveling to Great Britain by boat.

Home Secretary Priti Patel met her French counterpart Gerald Dormanin this week, following the recent number of people arriving in the UK via Channel Boat crossings. break one day record,

At the end of Monday’s meeting, the Home Office issued a joint statement between Ms Patel and Mr Darmanin.

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Over 23,000 people have reached the UK by small boats this year

He said the couple had agreed “to expedite the fulfillment of the commitments” made in July “to 100% maintain their joint determination to prevent crossings and destabilize this deadly road”.

But the French embassy in Britain has questioned the statement, posting on its Twitter account on Wednesday that there is a ‘100% figure to disagree’ between Ms Patel and Mr Dormainin and ‘should not be presented as an agreed commitment’ : It’s not like that. , ,

“And this is not part of the joint statement,” the tweet added.

Following the embassy’s intervention, Interior Ministry sources highlighted Mr Darmainin’s comments at a news conference last month, in which the French interior minister said the UK and France “should be able to reach 100%”. [of interceptions] If we push for resources and if our British friends continue to help us like they are doing now”.

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Tensions erupted between French officials and the Home Office when British Minister Tom Persglove told MPs that only five migrants who had gone to the UK by boat had returned to the UK. In European countries so far this year.

Mr Pusglove told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday that in total, more than 23,000 people have arrived in the UK via small boats this year, up from 8,500 in 2020.

Labor MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the committee, challenged the minister, saying that Britain’s ability to return migrants to the EU had been “significantly impaired” after an asylum deal with the bloc ended. After Brexit.

She said the deal “allowed us to repatriate several hundred people a year to EU member states”.

According to Home Office data, between January 2019 and March 2020 – when EU asylum rules still apply to the UK – more than 155 people who entered the UK illegally on small boats returned to Europe.

“You will understand that there have been difficulties in getting returns, especially because of COVID, this is an important context that I think we need to take into account,” Mr Persglove told the committee.

“The ambition remains to guarantee successful withdrawal agreements with our European friends and neighbors, and potentially with the EU.”

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Mr Pursglove, minister for both the Home Office and the Department of Justice, acknowledged that the arrival of small boats “is becoming the preferred route of access facilitated by rogue criminal gangs”.

“Smugglers are getting more and more adventurous, we are seeing riskier behaviour,” he said.

“We are seeing bigger boats deployed. We see a wide range of crossings from the greater beach. ,

And he acknowledged that “a five-fold increase in illegal arrivals this summer compared to 2018 is completely unacceptable”.

“We need to get better at this,” Pursglove said. “And I will not rest until we get to a much better place in this matter.” ,

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