Europe

Macron ally insists France ‘cannot keep’ migrants as people have ‘obsession’ to get to UK

France ‘cannot keep’ migrants says Mireille Clapot

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Tragedy struck on Wednesday when 27 people died whilst making the dangerous crossing from France towards the shores of the UK. France and Britain have been at loggerheads for months over the increasing number of crossing attempts reported over the past year, with French border police accused of allowing migrants to cross without intervening. But French parliamentarian Mireille Clapot, a member of Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! party, insisted authorities “cannot keep” people in the country if they do not want to stay.

BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis challenged the French National Assembly about the accusations of cruelty against the migrants levelled against the French border police.

Ms Maitlis said” “Our reporter just yesterday, Lewis Goodall, filmed the moment that migrants were raided by French police coming in taking their sleeping bags.

“What purpose is that meant to serve?”

“Is that meant to get them off French shores or just make their lives even more awful?” 

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Ms Clapot said: “I think what you’re describing is maybe something different.

“We were very shocked, Calais inhabitance were very shocked, because there was a Greek jungle, you know a big camp where people wanted to stay

“Their obsession is to cross the Channel and to join either their family or a new life or a country where they speak the same language, the English language…

“We tried several solutions and to dismantle the camp is certainly not the best solution and I am part of the left-wing, we propose some things that are different.

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Ms Clapot added: “But we cannot keep these people here.

“We try to propose them some other houses, some other places to live in France, but they have one obsession again to cross the Channel.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in a statement on the migrant crossing that the Government would seek to “accelerate” measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill to enable the authorities to “distinguish between people who come here legally and people who come here illegally.”

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Mr Johnson continued: “Surely a tragedy of this magnitude is the wake-up call our Government needs to change its approach and finally commit to an expansion of safe routes for those men, women and children in desperate need of protection.”

Lots of people are also believed to have reached the British Isle in small boats on Wednesday, with a soldier from Afghanistan who had previously worked with British forces reported to be among some of the migrants landing at Dungeness shores in Kent.

The Dover Strait is the busiest shipping lane in the world and the passage has claimed many lives of people trying to gain access to the UK in ill-equipped inflatable dinghies.

Lates reports have shown that over 25,700 people have made the crossing to get to the UK, this number is three times the amount of people who crossed in 2020.

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