‘Some ally!’ Fury as France REFUSE to conduct joint migrant patrols with UK

Alp Mehmet: Government MUST work to reduce net migration

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In a letter sent by Boris Johnson to Emmanuel Macron last Thursday, that has since become the subject of much controversy, the Prime Minister asked for “urgent progress” to be made towards the establishment of joint Franco-British patrols on French beaches to work towards preventing migrants from crossing the Channel to Britain. But French officials have now formally refused this suggestion, sparking accusations that President Macron will “reject all offers of help on the ground”, despite the need to bring this crisis to an end.

Responding to the news, Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet told Express.co.uk Mr Macron is acting like a poor ally.

He said: “Mr Macron is a curious man. He claims to want to solve the illegal Channel crossings problem and accepts millions of pounds (nearly £200m since 2015) to boost France’s border resources for the purpose but rejects all offers of help on the ground which might help stem the tide.

“His ministers and local government officials describe the UK as a magnetic El Dorado for migrants and sneer at our weak internal controls that allow them to lose themselves in our midst but do nothing to confront them on their way to northern France.”

In a letter seen by AFP on Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told Mr Johnson: “We cannot accept… that British police or soldiers patrol on our coasts.

“It’s a question of sovereignty and I know your Government’s sensitivity towards respecting the sovereignty of others.”

But GB News’s Darren Grimes, writing on Twitter, put it to Mr Castex that if French officials really cared about sovereignty, “they wouldn’t be allowing vast streams of illegal migrants to use their nation as a launchpad to Britain”.

The French Prime Minister’s letter is said not to address one of Mr Johnson’s other suggestions, that a “bilateral readmissions agreement” is created to allow illegal migrants who cross the Channel to be returned.

But French officials have previously dismissed this as an attempt for the UK to have its cake and eat it by leaving the EU but adopting agreements created by it (in this case, the ‘Dublin’ agreement on the relocating of asylum seekers).

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Despite their mocking, Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney recently told Express.co.uk that such agreements should be “torn up from a UK point of view” and replaced by agreements agreed upon by British lawmakers. In particular, ones that “reflect the wishes of the public on immigration”.

On Thursday, an aide to Mr Castex, quoted in France 24, casted further doubt on the idea that France will allow for migrants arriving in Britain to be sent back.

They said: “Sending migrants back to us is not an option and is not a serious or responsible way of tackling the issue.”

Given the unwillingness of French officials to accept British proposals on resolving the ongoing migrant crisis, Mr Mehmet added: “It’s as well France is an ally. With a friend like France’s president, we really don’t need enemies.”

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Mr Johnson was spurred to send his proposals to Mr Macron after 27 migrants drowned while attempting to cross the Channel last week in a small dinghy.

The group included seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children.

But rather than accept the letter in good faith, Mr Macron responded furiously to the fact that it was published on social media, insisting that Mr Johnson was not acting in a “serious” manner.

He disinvited Home Secretary Priti Patel from what could have been an important meeting between European leaders on how to resolve the crisis.

At the meeting, France argued that Britain must be “responsible” for resolving the problem by making the country “less attractive for migrants”.

Mr Castex has echoed this sentiment in his new letter, insisting that Britain must reform its migrant system to offer more “legal immigration paths”, which he believes will result in fewer people making the dangerous Channel crossing.

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