France accused of ‘ceding territory to people smugglers’ as record number cross Channel
France criticised by Brits for allowing channel crossings
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Their remarks came after a record 1,000 migrants crossed the Channel to enter Britain from France in small boats in just one day. This takes the total figure for 2021 to almost 24,000.
British lifeboat crews and Border Force officials were intercepting boats in the Straight of Dover later processing arrivals well into Thursday evening, according to the Mail.
A Whitehall source also told the paper that France is doing almost nothing to stop these dangerous crossings.
They said: “[France] let hundreds of people potentially set sail to their death whilst only stopping a couple of boats.
“They appear to have ceded sovereign territory to criminal people smugglers.
“This abject failure will be raised in the strongest possible terms with Gerald Darmanin [France’s Minister of the Interior].”
Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the first instalment of a £54million payment to France last week, which France demanded in return for stopping migrants leaving its beaches.
France’s latest failure to prevent crossings is bound to spark fury among Britons who have long waited for the issue of Channel migration to be sorted out.
8,420 migrants arrived in Britain in the whole of 2020 after crossing the Channel from France.
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Earlier this year, the Times estimated that this figure would jump to 22,000 in 2021 – a figure that has now already been surpassed.
This means the total number of crossings in 2021 won’t just come close to trebling 2020’s number – it will far surpass this mark.
While the Government is focusing its criticism on French officials who aren’t doing enough to stamp out the issue, others in Britain are pointing the finger of blame at the British Government itself.
Late last month, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “The British people look on in utter disbelief as one Home Secretary after another (the current one being no exception) fails to get a grip of an ever-worsening situation.
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“The Government have totally failed in the Channel and their timid policies have made a bad situation worse.”
At least two people are believed to have died while attempting the crossing in recent weeks.
Many more are feared to be missing.
Two boats were seen arriving into Britain before 5am on Thursday morning, according to the Mail.
In just 11 days, the total number of crossings in November has exceeded 3,500.
Border Force chiefs, perhaps expecting more work to be done to tackle the issue after six times as many migrants crossed the Channel to Britain last month than in October 2020, had been planning for just 2,000 crossings across the whole of the month.
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