11 Oct. 2021 14:15 clock
In the summer, Britain promised France to provide funding to prevent migrant boats from crossing the English Channel. However, according to the French interior minister, no money has yet arrived.
France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has accused Britain of withholding millions of pounds of funds to be used to prevent migrant boats from crossing the English Channel. The French authorities, however, had cracked down on attempts to cross the river.
Speaking to reporters in the coastal town of Loon-Plage on Saturday, Darmanin said “the UK has not paid a single penny” since Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel offered France £ 54 million (€ 64 million) in July for the Curb the flow of migrants across the English Channel.
The UK government has not paid what was promised for the time being, Darmanin continued, adding:
“The English are an honorable people, so I’m sure it’s an accounting delay.”
Darmanin voiced his criticism a day after Sky News had filmed several boats being launched on the beaches of Calais while French police watched. According to the Interior Ministry’s recently published figures, more than 17,000 people crossed the English Channel in small boats this year. This is more than twice as many as last year, when there were 8,460 people. In September alone, 60 boats with a total of 4,638 people on board made the crossing.
However, Darmanin stressed on Saturday that France was cracking down on it and had stopped 65 percent of its crossings in the past three months. In the months before that, the number was 50 percent. More police had been deployed and the migrant camps in and around Calais had been disbanded. The French Minister of the Interior highlighted:
“It’s been more than 20 years since France watched the border for our British friends.”
“We have managed to reduce immigration pressure to a large extent. And what we are seeing now in Calais and Dunkirk is not comparable to what we saw five or six years ago.”
In doing so, he was referring to the masses of migrants who flocked to northern France to reach the UK at the height of the European migrant crisis in 2015.
Darmanin said the UK also had a role to play in containing the tide and that it “should reduce its economic attractiveness to migrants wishing to work in the UK”.
Patel said at the Tory Congress this week that France is a “safe country” and will “send the boats back”. However, Paris refuses to intercept boats during the crossing or to accept the boats sent back by the British authorities. British Border Guard ships operating in the English Channel are currently bringing stranded migrants to safety in the UK.
more on the subject – Paris: Will reduce power supply to jerseys in winter if EU fishermen do not get licenses