The British Immigration Minister said on Tuesday that the UK and France have agreed on a plan to stop a wave of illegal immigration that has seen hundreds of migrants crossing their route through the English Channel to Britain this month.
Immigration Minister Chris Philp said the UK and France had “reaffirmed our unwavering joint commitment” to ensure that this route was “unstable”.
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“He is relieved by ruthless criminal gangs, he risks his life and is completely unnecessary,” he told Sky News after meeting with French officials in Paris.
“We have worked on a joint operational plan, a new revised and new operational plan, in order to completely disrupt this path and we will work at a pace in the coming days to realize that reality plan,”; he said.
At least 235 migrants aboard 17 ships were landed or apprehended by British Coast Guard and Border Guard ships on Thursday, surpassing last week’s 202 arrivals in one day.
Philp said more than 1,000 migrants had been arrested by the French government this year, but that the numbers passing were “unacceptable” to both governments. He noted that European Union laws such as the Dublin Regulation make it more difficult for the UK to return migrants and that Britain is determined to be free from that regulation in 2021 when it is completely out of the bloc.
Philp’s remarks come after Home Secretary Priti Patel described the flows as “horribly and unacceptably high.” But Patel warned the issue was “complex” and faces “serious legislative, legal and operational obstacles”.
Countries have made a number of agreements over the years to stem the flow to Britain, which mainly come either through the canal or through the port of Dover-Calais, with migrants traveling in the back of trucks or on trains.
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Last month, Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin agreed to set up a joint intelligence unit to stop smuggling gangs that are helping migrants make their trip to the UK
The UK Daily Telegraph reports that French authorities ban boats, but if migrants threaten to jump into the water, they withdraw as saving lives is the priority. They then shade migrants to make sure they arrived in the UK for sure.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.