Migrant crisis in the Channel: France rejects joint patrols with Great Britain


This proposal was made by Boris Johnson the day after the sinking of the migrant boat which left 27 dead at the end of November.

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Proposal refused. French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday (December 2nd) rejected the British proposal to “joint patrols” on French soil in order to prevent the departure of migrants to the United Kingdom. “We have always accepted to examine and discuss in good faith the British proposals for increased cooperation. We have accepted some, we have declined others.”, writes the head of government in this text which AFP has had a copy of.

“We cannot accept, for example, that British police or military patrol our coasts; it is in our sovereignty”

Jean Castex, Prime Minister

letter to AFP

Boris Johnson made this proposal during a telephone conversation with Emmanuel Macron on November 25, the day after a shipwreck in the Channel which left 27 dead. It also appeared in a letter from the British Prime Minister to the French President, the publication of which by the British government has ulcerated Paris and caused a new crisis between the two countries. In his letter, Boris Johnson also proposed to France “a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel”.

“More than 700 police and gendarmes survey the Opal coast (north) every day, to prevent makeshift boats from taking to sea” towards England, assures Jean Castex in his letter. “Part of these operations is carried out with the financial contribution of your government, in accordance with our cooperation agreements”, he recalls. “However, these efforts only make it possible to contain the phenomenon, not to provide a lasting response to it”, believes the French Prime Minister, calling on Great Britain to carry out “a more efficient return policy” and to open “legal immigration routes to those who have legitimate reasons for wanting to surrender” in this country.



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