UK asks France to take back illegal migrants

The British Prime Minister this Friday appealed to France to accept back migrants who entered the UK illegally from the French coast, accentuating the persistent differences between the two countries on migration issues.

“We propose that we put in place a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants who cross the Macha Channel”, highlighted this Friday Boris Johnson, in a message released through the social network Twitter.

The British ruler was referring to an agreement similar to those between the European Union (EU) and Belarus or Russia, reports the AFP agency.

For the British Prime Minister, this measure “would have an immediate effect and would considerably reduce, or even stop, the crossings [ilegais]”.

Wednesday’s wreck, which claimed the lives of 27 migrants, was the deadliest since the increase in 2018 in irregular migration crossings of the English Channel, which links France with the United Kingdom, in the face of the growing blockade of the port of Calais and the tunnel used until then by migrants trying to reach England.

French President Emmanuel Macron had already defended, during a trip to Zagreb, that France is a transit country and that it is fighting “against trafficking networks”, pointing out that for this “better European coordination” is needed.

In a show of harmony, British Home Secretary Priti Patel called for “a coordinated international effort” before the British parliament.

On Thursday, France invited the Belgian, German, Dutch and British ministers responsible for immigration, and the European Commission, to a meeting on Sunday in Calais (north), the day after the ship wrecked in the English Channel.

“This meeting should make it possible to define the ways and means of strengthening police, judicial and humanitarian cooperation” to “better fight the networks of traffickers involved in migratory flows”, explained the office of French Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Some analysts were skeptical of this apparent desire for cooperation between Paris and London, whose positions on this matter are often divergent.

Illegal crossings, which regularly arouse tensions between these countries, are delicate for the British Government, which has made the fight against immigration one of the banners for ‘Brexit’.

In a statement, following talks between Priti Patel and his French counterpart, Gerald Darmanin, the British Interior Ministry said that it had made “a clear offer to France in terms of cooperation (…) and joint patrols to prevent the realization of these dangerous journeys”.

France has always rejected these proposals for joint patrols, put forward several times by Boris Johnson, for reasons of sovereignty.

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