French Interior Minister Calls for Negotiating EU-UK Migration Treaty as Channel Crossings Continue

© AFP 2023 / BEN STANSALLUK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020
UK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
London and Paris remain at odds over the pressing issue of the trafficking of migrants across the Channel to southern England. Over 17,000 people have already reportedly crossed the Channel to reach Britain so far this year, compared with more than 8,460 in all of 2020.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has called for starting negotiations to reach a migration treaty between the European Union and the UK.

"We need to negotiate a treaty, since Mr [Michel] Barnier did not do so when he negotiated Brexit, which binds us on migration issues", Darmanin said, vowing that France will endorse the project when Paris takes over the EU's rotating presidency in January.

He also urged London to deliver on its pledge to tackle the situation with illegal migrants who gather on the northern French coast seeking to cross into England.
"The [British] government has not yet paid what it promised us. We call on the British to keep their promise of financing since we are maintaining the border for them", the top French diplomat asserted.

Darmanin claimed that France "has held the border for our British friends for over 20 years", dubbing Paris "an ally of Britain" but "not its vassal".

He also argued that in the past three months, France has stopped 65 percent of attempted crossings by illegal immigrants, and that he had received assurances from the European border surveillance agency Frontex that it will be prepared to monitor the coastal area, notably through aerial surveillance, by year's end.

Patel Reportedly Says Paris Has 'Raised Their Game' on Migrant Interceptions

The remarks come a few weeks after UK Home Secretary Priti Patel reportedly noted that the French had "raised their game"following an earlier threat to halt hefty funding to France over Paris' "poor" efforts to stop migrants from crossing the Channel. The Times cited unnamed government sources as saying that "when money is on the line, the French always pay attention".
The claims followed Patel warning in early September that she would not "pay a penny of the money" if France failed to start delivering "results".
The home secretary was referring to the UK-France agreement stipulating that London is supposed to pay Paris £54 million ($74 million) for efforts to contain Channel crossings by migrants.
"It's payment by results and we've not yet seen those results. The money is conditional", Patel told UK lawmakers at the time.
A group of people, thought to be migrants wait on a Border Force rib to come ashore at Dover marina in Kent, England after a small boat incident in the English Channel, Tuesday Sept. 22, 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.07.2021
UK Home Secretary Patel Closes £54 Million Deal With France to Stop Illegal Migrants
She was echoed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who pledged that his government would do its best to try to resolve the surge in migrant boats crossing the Channel, emphasising that the solution largely depended on French authorities.
Coast Guard statistics earlier showed that a total of 17,063 migrants crossed the Channel in the first eight months of this year, a 50 percent increase against the figure for the whole of 2020.
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