In the last three days alone, more than 500 migrants have made the dangerous voyage across the Channel on overloaded dinghies. The UK is now calling on France to play a much tougher role in turning boats back into French waters to act as a deterrent, but French authorities claim this would be difficult because the situation is not safe. Dover MP Natalie Elphicke told BBC Breakfast that it was in the interest of France to bring an end to the crisis as well.
The Tory politician addressed reports suggesting the French could ask for millions of pounds more from Britain to handle the ongoing situation.
She said: “This is a French issue as much as it’s a British one. It’s in the interest of France to put a stop to this illegal organised crime of people trafficking and to make sure that they don’t have a Calais migrant magnet.
“We have been paying tens of millions of pounds to the French and they have treaty obligations to us.
“I think it’s absolutely critical that they stop those boats leaving the French shore, that they tackle the organised crime behind these crossings and that we bring an end to this particular route.”
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There have even been suggestions that the Royal Navy may be drafted in to help push back migrant boats towards France.
However, the suggestion has been deemed “very dangerous” and potentially illegal under international law.
Mrs Elphicke told the BBC: “These are incredibly dangerous crossings and life has already been lost.
“So it’s absolutely critical that for the safety of the migrants in northern France that we bring an end to this dangerous trafficking route.”
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.
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.