Priti Patel tells France to ‘do extra’ to cease Channel migrant disaster | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Migrants Continue To Cross The Channel From France

Channel crossings are persevering with regardless of repeated efforts to finish the disaster (Image: Getty)

France should “do more” with the “record sums of money” Britain has spent to cease migrants crossing the Channel on small boats, Dame Priti Patel has declared.

The former Home Secretary warned evil folks smugglers are “thumbing their noses” at London and Paris regardless of large quantities of British taxpayers’ money being ploughed into the combat towards the gangs.

Her intervention comes as greater than 500 migrants have crossed the Channel to Britain within the final 48 hours.

The former Home Secretary advised the Express: “I do think the French should do a lot more, quite frankly. We’re paying them I think record sums of money.

“Whilst the crossings continue, we need to see the ministerial oversight required with our near neighbour to know that there is a fully deliverable plan in place, that France is taking robust action against the criminal gangs facilitating this cruelty and that taxpayers’ money invested in France is delivering the zero-tolerance approach to illegal migration we expect.”

Migrants Arrive In UK After Crossing English Channel

The Channel migrant crisis has overwhelmed the asylum system (Image: Getty)

Migrants Resume Channel Crossings In 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to give France £478 to increase patrols (Image: Getty)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in a landmark summit with French President Emmanuel Macron in March 2023, agreed to pay an extra £478m.This included £124 million in 2023/24, £168m over the next 12 months and £184m in 2025/26.

Mr Sunak said the £478m deal will pay for a new detention centre near Dunkirk, an extra 500 officers and more surveillance equipment. The UK is understood to be contributing around £26m to the new facility.

But Dame Priti questioned whether the money had been spent wisely. She said: “Are we getting what we need out of this investment? Where is the detention centre, what are the new technologies and how are they being deployed? Are we seeing more people being prosecuted?

“That is what the British people want to know. They have a right to know.

“The sad thing is, I look back on all of this. We had a plan. We had a plan called the New Plan for Immigration, linked to the Rwanda policy, building Greek-style reception centres, and I’m sorry to say this, but people that came in afterwards and, in fact the current government, didn’t support that plan.”

France has already spent a big portion of the money on helicopters, e-scooters, motorbikes, seaside buggies and vehicles, together with surveillance gear resembling drones and binoculars.

But because the Channel crossings proceed, with a spate of fatalities in latest months, European Governments have come underneath extra strain to smash the smuggling gangs and deter migrants from risking their lives.

Dame Priti added: “We have seen more fatalities in the Channel in the last 12 months. Everyone has to come together to work intensely to stop these people smugglers.

“They are evil people. They are putting peoples’ lives at risk. They are thumbing their noses at the two Governments and the collective efforts that are trying to stop them.”

The Daily Express has previously revealed investigators are targeting smuggling gangs by going after their finances and their operations by seizing the boats and engines used to take people across the Channel. They are also using social media campaigns to deter migrants from risking their lives.

Home Office officials have also seen increasing evidence that migrants are abandoning attempts to reach the UK because it is “too difficult.”

Officials have described their tactics as trying to make the smugglers’ lives “more difficult” to dam their skill to supply migrants a crossing to the UK.

This, they hope, will deter extra asylum seekers from attempting to cross the Channel as a result of they are going to lose confidence within the criminals’ operations and as an alternative search refuge elsewhere.

Dame Priti added: “I know the Government would argue small boat crossings are down, but the reality is where is that detention centre? Why aren’t more people being detained?

“They aren’t stopping the boats, why are French police releasing people rather than putting them in detention centres?”

At least 200 migrants arrived in the UK yesterday – despite numerous fatal crossings in the past week.

And some 327 asylum seekers were detected and rescued on Sunday.

Sunday’s confirmed crossings took the total number of official 2024 arrivals to 2,582 aboard 56 boats so far – an average of 46 people per boat.

The daily total was the second largest of the year so far.

On Sunday a girl, aged seven, died while travelling with her family when their dinghy capsized with 16 people on board in a canal 20 miles inland near Watten, northern France.

The child was with her parents and four other adults who hoped to get 10 children aged between seven and 13 to the English Channel, and then across to the UK to claim asylum.

But the flimsy inflatable dinghy they were in collapsed within minutes, flinging everybody into the cold water, around an hour before sunrise.

None of those onboard the stolen vessel were wearing lifejackets, or had any kind of lifesaving equipment with them.

Charlotte Huet, the Dunkirk Prosecutor, said the seven-year-old girl was pulled out of the water by emergency workers but died “as a result of cardiorespiratory arrest”.

She was travelling together with her pregnant mom and her father, together with three brothers and sisters.

Migrant Boats Arrive On Kent Shores A Day After Government's Rwanda Plan Scuppered

Hundreds of migrants have arrived over the weekend (Image: Getty)

Home Secretary James Cleverly was final evening holding talks in Brussels with the Calais Group – France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands – to accentuate efforts to stop extra small boat crossings.

He is known to have final evening advised European ministers to comply with the UK’s lead in introducing robust new legal guidelines on unlawful migrants.

Britain and France have signed a brand new “customs partnership” to attempt to forestall engines, tyres and “anything else that can be used” in a small boat from reaching the French coast.

Sources have indicated that is set to extend the variety of focused searches of automobiles crossing the continent.

London and Paris will lead the crackdown, however different nations, together with Belgium, will probably be “invited” to share intelligence of smugglers trafficking their gear throughout Europe.

Home Secretary James Cleverly mentioned: “Working closely with our European neighbours is fundamental to solving the illegal migration crisis. Global problems require global solutions, and the UK is leading the conversation around the changes needed to crack down on people smugglers and break their supply chains.

“The Calais Group is central to our mission, and we have already made significant progress by reducing small boat crossings by 36%. Our new customs partnership demonstrates our enduring commitment to smashing the business model of criminal gangs and stopping the boats.”

Some 29,437 migrants crossed the Channel final yr, down from 45,755 from 2022.