France’s EU minister claimed his country was “dealing” with the migrant crisis and blamed Britain for the chaos on the English Channel. Clément Beaune, Minister for European Affairs, defended his country’s record in managing the migrant crisis on broadcaster, France24.
Despite this month’s record-breaking arrival of 1,200 migrants in Kent, he claimed French emergency services are overworked. With new plans for UK Border Force to turn boats around, he abandoned responsibility for boats leaving French shores.
“We take this very seriously through our cooperation with the UK,” said Mr Beaune.
“We are increasing migratory pressure.”
In the aftermath of the crisis, he claimed his country was “sometimes criticised” for its handling of the chaos at Calais and the Channel.
“People ask me why I manage the UK Border,” he added. Let people go.
“We do that because we believe it is in our mutual interest to organise things with UK financial support.”
Thousands of migrants have crossed the English Channel in recent months, according to the minister. But in a scathing attack on the British government, Mr Beaune accused it of breaking international law by restraining boats. He called the plans “extremely dangerous” and “probably against international law.”
Mr Beaune also said the move was risky and could result in more migrant deaths in the Channel. Recently, Home Secretary Priti Patel approved giving UK Border Force orders to turn back boats and people smugglers attempting to cross the Channel.
The French minister for European Affairs claimed French ministers have been in “extensive” discussions with Ms Patel to find a solution. He claimed France is playing a “very big role” in resolving the crisis, despite “local pressure” from Britain, which is funding the French coastguard to deal with the crisis.
According to reports, France has stopped more than two-thirds of migrant crossings since Priti Patel threatened to cancel a £54 million migrant deal. The Times recently reported that the Home Secretary was considering pulling the £54 million migrant deal. France had to stop three out of four migrant crossings by the end of September or lose funding.
Asylum seekers would be housed in France before crossing into the UK with the £54 million aid package. According to the Home Office after The Times reported Patel was considering withdrawing the funds, there were 2,923 attempted Channel crossings. The French stopped 1,777 of them in ten days, more than the 1,115 who made it to the UK.