‘France wants its cake and eat it’ Ex-border chief slams Paris as UK demands action

Migrant crisis: Expert criticises French handling of issues

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Former Chief Immigration Officer Kevin Saunders blasted the French for not pulling their weight in the UK migrant agreement after reports emerged the Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to get tough on the neighbouring country. Asylum seeker boats journeying from France to the UK are set to be forcibly turned back with the French Government in outcry. Mr Saunders rejected their notion of maritime law being broken as he recalled Greece uses the same tactic against Turkey which has been heralded by EU leaders.

Priti Patel has approved new plans to turn back boats towards France as she comes under pressure to address the migrant crossings. 

The UK Government is also considering withholding £55million from France if they do not stop a large portion of the crossings. 

France currently receives millions from the UK to bolster border defences on its northern beaches.

French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, wrote on Twitter: “France will not accept any practice that breaks maritime law, nor any financial blackmail.

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“Britain’s commitments must be respected, I said this clearly to my counterpart.”

Mr Saunders told Sky News his interpretation of maritime law was different and explained: “I wouldn’t agree, the Greeks have done it successfully with migrants from Turkey.

“They have pushed them back and the EU has approved it, Ursula von der Leyen went on the television and said Greece was the iron shield against illegal migrants.

“So the French have as the French always do is have their cake and eat it.”

According to The Sun, Ms Patel said: “We’ve not given them a penny of the money so far and France is going to have to get its act together if it wants to see the cash.

“It’s payment by results and we’ve not seen those results. The money is conditional.”

Footage emerged of French boats escorting migrants to UK waters before leaving them there for Border Force or the RNLI to pick up.

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On August 21, a record 828 migrants entered the UK as the daily totals begin to slowly increase.

This week alone has seen 1,500 migrants make the crossing as new measures are put in place ahead of a looming Afghan refugee crisis.

Pressure group Migrant Watch warn the decision to turn back large boats, as proposed by the UK Government, would only force migrants into smaller and more dangerous ones.

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The BBC reports Border Force have been trained on turning back boats over the past few months.

The move mirrors the system used in Australia where boats entering the country illegally are turned back to their country of origin.

However, former rear admiral Dr Chris Parry told Express.co.uk he was concerned about the implementation of turning back boats as countries who use the measure have larger geographical areas to work with.

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