MINISTER Chris Philp yesterday failed to get a deal with the French to turn back migrant boats — then made an embarrassing gaffe on live TV.
The Immigration Minister’s meeting with his counterparts in Paris ended with no significant breakthrough on a day when dozens more migrants landed in the UK.
And to add to his woes, he managed to confuse Britain and Germany in a live TV interview, before suggesting he start again.
Speaking to reporters after the talks, Mr Philp said “France and Germany” were working together in the spirit of cooperation.
He quickly corrected himself to say, “France and the United Kingdom.”
Moments later, seemingly not realising the broadcast was live, he asked to start over, saying: “Do you want to that last bit again because I got the Germany thing muddled?”
The minister insisted he was still hopeful of getting an agreement to stop the surge in cross-Channel migrants.
He said: “We have worked on a joint operational plan — a revised, new operational plan — with the objective in mind of completely cutting this route.
“We are going to be working at pace in the coming days to make that plan a reality.”
Mr Philp did not rule out increasing the UK’s financial contribution to the French to help them patrol their northern shores. The UK has contributed £100million since 2015.
He said it would be “premature” to publicly discuss money.
Mr Philp said the sheer numbers of migrants crossing the Channel was “completely unacceptable” to both the French and UK governments.
His meeting came as migrants continued to land on Kent’s beaches in small boats yesterday.
One arrival gave the thumbs up after the boat he was on was guided ashore by Border Force patrols. Others posed for photos.
An onlooker said: “They looked thrilled to bits to have arrived. It’s shocking to see. They have their face masks on and just look like they’ve won the lottery.”
A group of ten migrants arrived at Dover and said they were from Iran.
An earlier group of 13, on a dinghy without life jackets, said they were from Sudan.
The new arrivals were detained by Border Force officials and then placed on coaches.
The exact numbers were not released by the Home Office.
It comes after 18 Syrian migrants, including women, landed in one boat on Monday.
So far this year, 4,301 migrants have come here in small boats.
- Three Afghan people smugglers linked to organised crime gangs in the UK have been jailed in France for bringing over migrants in small boats.
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