Migrant crossings: France's 'show me the money' response plays to a domestic audience but its frustration is directed at UK
By SEAMLESS DAILY
10 October 2021
Sky News filmed dozens of migrants leaving beaches last week on inflatable boats, and even a canoe- beginning the potentially dangerous journey unchallenged by French police officers.
The British government has promised £54m in extra funding to support France's policing operation against illegal people trafficking.
so i asked mr darmanin why so many boats were still getting through.
"The [ British ] government has not yet paid what it promised us," Darmanin said.
"not one euro has been paid by the british government following the agreement, much negotiated for many months with madame ( home secretary priti ) patel.
"The English are people of honour, so I am certain that it is an accounting delay."
"We have hired more officers, purchased more technology to protect this border.
"If I look back over the last three months, over the summer we 've increased the interceptions of boats from 50 % to 65 %.
"It's a good score, and we can reach 100 % if the UK gives us what they promised."
Tensions between the governments in Paris and London are stretched.
And so that's what we got on Saturday- a response to criticism, a political message to Britain to "keep their promise", a reassurance to French police and security workers that their interior minister has got their back.
But when he looked across the Channel, Mr Darmanin's attitude was different, and more combative.
barnier, who is now running for president in france, was the eu's brexit negotiator said the uk after it left the eu.
Darmanin was speaking during a visit to Loon-Plage, a town on the northern French coast.
A total of 15,400 people attempted to cross the Channel in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 50 % on the figure for the whole of 2020, according to French coastguard statistics.
The home secretary, Priti Patel, in September threatened to withhold the money in light of the record numbers of migrants arriving from France.
"France has held the border for our British friends for over 20 years," said Darmanin.
And France has again threatened to cut the UK off from energy supplies if the terms of the Brexit deal aren't stuck to.
"escalating the issue because a presidential election is looming and the votes of french fishermen could be critical."
don't miss that's why uk and for france."
The country's Europe minister, Clement Beaune, said the agreement had to be "implemented fully" and- should it not be- then "we will take European or national measures to exert pressure on the UK".
Jersey then added fuel to the fire when it said of the 170 licence applications it had received from French boats- 75 had been rejected.
Lord Frost addressed the spat with France at a fringe event at the Tory party conference this week.
Lord Frost said : "I do think it is important to keep things in proportion.
"We would have liked a different sort of fisheries deal out of the TCA.
British and French officials "continue to work together" on funding intended to stop migrants from crossing the Channel, the UK Home Office has said.
It comes after French interior minister Gerald Darmanin accused the UK of not holding up its end of a £54m deal reached by both countries in July, aimed at increasing patrols.
He said the French government had dismantled camps as well as increased the numbers of police and installed fortifications to protect the border.
He added : "We need Great Britain to reduce its economic attractiveness for migrants who want to work in the UK."
Along with the migrant crossings, UK-France relations have been further strained by the AUKUS submarine dispute and a row over post-Brexit fishing rights.
French fisheries workers claim they have been "deceived" by the British government over fishing licence applications and have called on the European Commission to take "retaliatory measures".
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