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UK News French PM rules out joint patrols and suggests UK asylum reforms

23:01  02 december  2021
23:01  02 december  2021 Source:   msn.com

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The MP for Calais has suggested a British offer to provide police and border force for joint patrols along the coast of the Channel “wouldn’t work”, as he raised issues around sovereignty. Pierre-Henri Dumont’s intervention comes after at least 27 people lost their lives attempting to make the treacherous journey across the English Chanel — the worst migrant tragedy in the region in recent history. Immigration compliance minister Tom Pursglove confirmed that the prime minister had renewed a previous offer to send UK police and Border Force officers to mount joint patrols with the French .

French PM Jean Castex, left, will write to Boris Johnson after the UK PM 's tweet angered President Emmanuel Macron, right. France is ready for talks with the UK over a deal to tackle the migrant crisis, the interior minister said. The proposals by Mr Castex could include ways to open up legal routes to the UK and for asylum seekers and to allow unaccompanied minors to join relatives in Britain, he said. However he said the practice of turning back boats at sea, as suggested in Mr Johnson's letter, was "a red line for the French government".

France has formally rejected Boris Johnson’s call for the British authorities to conduct joint patrols on the beaches around Calais to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought ashore (PA) © Gareth Fuller A group of people thought to be migrants are brought ashore (PA)

In a letter to Mr Johnson, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said “we cannot accept” the presence of British police officers or soldiers because it would compromise the nation’s sovereignty.

He also suggested the UK should carry out reforms of its systems to offer “legal immigration paths” for people to come to the country instead of risking the perilous crossing.

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UK News Published: Just now. It comes as France suggested talks with Britain could continue following a diplomatic spat over the handling of the small boat crossings. Boris Johnson wants to be able to return people who fail in their bid for asylum after crossing into Britain via small boats. Boris Johnson has increased his lobbying efforts for a returns agreement with Europe as a way to stem the flow of small boats crossing the Channel. In a meeting with his Belgian counterpart, the Prime Minister pushed for the creation of a UK -European Union returns agreement for failed asylum seekers in a bid

On Monday, Darmanin suggested the letter was an example of UK ministers communicating differently in public than they were in private in yet another ratcheting up of tensions. Anger over the letter saw 'petulant' Macron banning UK Home Secretary Priti Patel from attending a Calais summit on the Channel migrant crisis at the weekend. Mr Darmanin said the proposals by Mr Castex could include ways to open up legal routes to the UK and for asylum seekers and to allow unaccompanied minors to join relatives in Britain.

But he promised that France would examine “in good faith” some of the proposals put forward to resolve the crisis.

The UK Prime Minister sparked fury in France by publishing his letter to President Emmanuel Macron calling for further action in the wake of the tragedy which saw 27 people lose their lives while attempting to cross the Channel in November.

The bitter feud has seen reports that Mr Macron has labelled Mr Johnson  a “clown” and a “knucklehead”.

But the UK Government has promised to work in “close co-operation and partnership” with France in the wake of Mr Castex’s letter.

According to Le Monde, Mr Castex wrote: “We  have always accepted to examine and discuss in good faith British proposals of reinforcement and cooperation.

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Constructive call with PM @borisjohnson. Belgium & the UK are historic allies, but we also have a lot common challenges today. It comes after France said it would put forward proposals for tackling the Channel migrant crisis, with the country’s interior minister suggesting talks with the UK could resume following a diplomatic spat. Gerald Darmanin has said prime minister Jean Castex will be writing to Mr Johnson on Tuesday with proposals for a “balanced agreement” between the UK and the EU.

Reports suggested such operations are likely to be restricted to sturdier, bigger migrant boats and only used in 'very limited circumstances'. Ms Moreton told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'In practical terms, if this happens even once, I would be surprised. 'By flouting the international law of the sea, by preventing migrants from applying for asylum , by taking the risk of drowning, the United Kingdom is de facto breaking the rules commonly accepted by all [EU] member countries. 'I call on the British government to come to its senses and fundamentally change its domestic law and its labour market

“We have accepted some, we have declined others.”

Mr Johnson had suggested Border Force officers, or failing that private security contractors, could be deployed in joint patrols.

Mr Castex sad: “We cannot accept, for example, that British police officers or soldiers patrol our coasts.

“It comes from our sovereignty.”

France has repeatedly turned down British requests for joint land and maritime operations in its territory.

The French prime minister said more than 700 police officers and gendarmes were already covering the area around Dunkirk and Calais to prevent small boats carrying migrants taking to the water.

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French interior minister Gerald Darmanin also ruled out joint coastal patrols . It comes after 27 migrants died trying to cross the Channel in a dinghy last week. 'One of the engines of the English economic policy – not all of it, obviously – is to employ workers illegally,' said the minister, who has previously described the UK as an 'El Dorado' for asylum seekers. France will demand a 'balanced' post-Brexit accord between Britain and the European Union on handling illegal immigration, he said, rather than dealing directly with the UK .

It comes as France suggested talks with Britain could continue following a diplomatic spat over the handling of the small boat crossings. Boris Johnson wants to be able to return people who fail in their bid for asylum after crossing into Britain via small boats (Gareth Fuller/PA) / PA Wire. A returns agreement with the European Union would allow the UK to send people back to the member state where their journey had originated from, such as France or elsewhere, if their asylum claims are rejected after arriving in Britain.

But these efforts “only permit us to contain the phenomenon, not to bring a lasting response”.

To do that, he suggested the UK must open legal immigration paths for those who have legitimate reasons to enter the country, and pursue a “more efficient” returns policy for those who do not.

A UK Government spokesman said: “Last week’s devastating events were a tragic reminder of the dangers of these crossings and like our French neighbours the UK Government is determined to prevent further loss of life in the Channel.

“We stand ready to discuss all options in the spirit of our close cooperation and partnership, and as a shared, global challenge it is vital we address illegal migration collectively and urgently.”

The relationship between the governments in London and Paris has been soured by the issue of migrants and post-Brexit fishing licences.

According to Le Canard Enchaine, Mr Macron launched his “knucklehead” attack the Prime Minister in a private conversation with a small group of aides during a visit to Croatia last week.

He claimed the Prime Minister was seeking to make France a “scapegoat” for Brexit, which had proved “catastrophic” for the UK.

A senior UK Government source said Mr Johnson was a “staunch and public advocate” for a strong cross-Channel relationship and “our approach will not change even if we have to wait until the other side of the French presidential election for a change of tone”.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!