Hundreds of migrants have arrived in the UK via the Channel in recent days, with local authorities in Kent saying they’re having to deal with a record number of children travelling alone. Home Secretary Priti Patel has described the recent rise in crossings as “shameful” and called on the French Government to help make the route unviable and stop boats leaving Calais in the first place. However, BBC reporter Simon Jones warned that both France and Britain could find attempting to hash out a plan to deal with the crisis “very difficult”.
He told BBC Breakfast viewers: “We’ve heard this talk from Priti Patel a number of times over the past few weeks when this issue comes to the fore.
“Now Britain is saying France needs to play a much tougher role in turning boats back into French waters to act as a deterrent.
“But French authorities are saying that’s difficult because it’s not safe.
“They fear migrants could jump in the water and that could threaten their own safety, and the safety of the coast guard teams too.”
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The BBC reporter added: “They’re also calling on France to do more patrols along the beaches in northern France.
“France are saying yes, that’s possible, but you need to give us more cash.”
The Immigration Compliance minister, Chris Philp, is going to meet his French counterparts in Paris next week.
Reportedly one of the ideas he is going to put forward is for anyone caught trying to make the crossing to have their fingerprints taken by French authorities.
“This is complex to do and we face serious legislative, legal and operational barriers.
“We also need the co-operation of the French to intercept boats and return migrants back to France.
“I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean.”