The French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, on Monday urged an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom on irregular migration, on full political crisis between both countries after the death of 27 migrants in the English Channel. In turn, he asked his neighbor to assume “his responsibility.”
“We want a balanced agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which responds to all the problems“Said Darmanin at a press conference, reject a simple bilateral pact on the readmission of migrants in France.
For the French manager, this pact should open “the legal routes of immigration to Great Britain”, considering that this country is not doing enough. “There are 30,000 asylum applications in the UK, in France we count 150,000”, said.
Darmanin said that French Prime Minister Jean Castex will send a letter on Tuesday to his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, to propose a pact, which could include mechanisms for migrant minors to be reunited with their families in the UK without risking their lives.
His statements come a day after a meeting of those responsible for Migration of France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the European Commission on the illegal crossings of the English Channel, towards British coasts.
In a final statement, the participants pledged to “do everything possible to fight more effectively against criminal networks” of migrant smugglers and they recognized the need to “improve cooperation” with London.
UK was not finally invited, by releasing a letter from the British Prime Minister to French President Emmanuel Macron, asking him for a “bilateral readmission agreement (…) of all illegal migrants” that cross that channel.
As of 2018, with increased controls at ports and access to the tunnel under the English Channel, The migrants chose the sea route to reach the United Kingdom, straining the relationship between the two countries.
At the beginning of September, the British press even indicated that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, it was proposed that the United Kingdom border force would force the boats to turn around before reaching its shores.
“We cannot accept this practice”said Darmanin, for whom this endangers lives and is contrary to international law. The French official also refused to allow his police to intercept the migrant boats that have already set sail.
Fishing licenses, another issue that increases bilateral tension
On the other hand, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, has referred to the English Channel fishing dispute with London and has revealed that “the deadline” to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom after Brexit will be December 10.
“If there is no gesture for December 10, we will stop this dialogue”, Beaune warned in an interview with France Inter.
The Executive of France put on the table a battery of possible sanctions, among them the prohibition of mooring British boats, in response to the reduction of the permits granted to French fishermen to fish in Canal waters. Paris does not rule out either limiting the electricity supply.
The British Minister for Brexit, David frost, you already said that your country is “actively” contemplating the implementation of the mechanism for the resolution of disputes stipulated in the exit agreements of the European Union to resolve the current fisheries dispute with France.
But the French government insists that Almost half of the license applications submitted by French fishermen have not yet been accepted despite having submitted the documents requested by the British authorities to corroborate compliance with the Brexit agreements.
According to the Brexit trade agreement reached at the end of 2020, European fishermen they can operate in British waters provided they can demonstrate that they previously operated there.
(With information from AFP and Europa Press)
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