The British Migration Service is going to return boats with migrants to the Channel. UK media reports that Border Force authorities have been informed about the plan and employees are already being trained to return people at sea. It is unclear whether the plans also require migrants to be returned to the French coast, or whether the boats are banned from British waters and left to their fate.
France responds to the plans and believes that the decision breaks existing rules. French interior minister Gérald Darmanin writes on Twitter that “friendship between our countries deserves better than attitudes that undermine our cooperation.”
Earlier, a leaked letter from Darmanin came into the hands of British media. In this he wrote that he considers the plan dangerous and that he considers protecting human lives more important than migration policies. The plan would also disrupt the relationship between the United Kingdom and France.
Darmanin had discussions with his British counterpart Priti Patel on Tuesday. She wrote on Twitter that “combating crossing is a priority for the British.”
Many new boat migrants
In recent months the United Kingdom has seen a large influx of boat migrants from France. Another day record was broken in August when 828 people spread across 30 small boats tried to make the crossing.
The French and British Interior Ministers made new agreements on measures against illegal migration in July. This is how France is going to use a lot more police to control beaches. The UK has pledged France over €60 million to prevent illegal migration. The UK itself wants to introduce higher cell sentences for smugglers and migrants to discourage people from crossing the Channel.