Brussels officials have angered their UK counterparts by “not engaging” with plans to agent a post-Brexit arrangement to tackle illegal migration, a Government source said.
European officials dismissed proposals put forward by Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator as “one-sided” and said the UK would preferably need to reach individual agreements with member nations.
British negotiator, David Frost pushes this issue during this weeks trade talks with EU counterpart Michel Barnier. This was after a young man drowned when he tried to cross the Channel in an inflatable dinghy to enter Britain illegally. Opposition for Boris Johnson’s plan came from Malta, Italy and Greece; the Frenchman said the Government would need to strike “bilateral fallbacks” with individual EU states.
British officials suggested a treaty that would allow Britain to return “all of the third-country nationals and stateless persons” who enter the country without the correct paperwork to the EU country they’d travelled from.
The authorities would also need to take undocumented migrants coming in the EU via the united kingdom.
UK officials introduced another draft agreement that would allow for unaccompanied minors to be reunified with their families in Britain.
But the plans were unanimously rejected by EU negotiators since refugees are more likely to arrive in the EU via southern Europe.
A diplomat from the EU stated: “Member countries have experienced a reasonable dialogue on this, but they are not convinced, essentially the proposition is one-sided.”
Emmanuel Macron’s France has urged EU nations to reconsider their opposition to the British plans.
The source added: “It has basically been a UK request. The individuals that are pushing it on our side would be the French.
“They only want it as they have a bilateral deal with the UK and dread being on the hook for all returns.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has been pushing for EU countries to do more to suppress the flow of migrants who are attempting to crossing the continent to get to Calais and trying to cross the channel into Britain illegally.
More than 4,100 people have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this season.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Dublin Legislation is inflexible, rigid and is mistreated by both migrants and activist lawyers to frustrate the returns of those who have no right to be here.
“Whilst we are bound by Dublin to the duration of the Transition Period, the UK is going to be able to pay its own bilateral returns agreements by the end of the year.”