As tensions with France continue to sour, the country’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin claimed migrants are enticed by the UK’s labour market. In an attack against the UK, he also claimed many smugglers are based in Britain. Despite the two sides pledging to work together to reduce migrant numbers, the minister said France is the one subject to UK policy.
He told CNews: “The smugglers, who organize networks and exploit women and children are very often in Britain.
“Why do people go to Calais? It’s to go to Great Britain.
“And why do they want to go to Great Britain?
“It’s because the labour market largely works in Great Britain thanks to a large army or reserves – as Karl Marx said – of people in an irregular situation but who can work at a low cost, obviously.
“If the British tightened up their legislation – they have started doing so but not gone far enough – people would no longer be in Calais or Dunkirk,
“It is we who are subject to British policy. We must not reverse the roles.”
During the same interview, the minister also claimed France is being used as a “punchbag” by the UK.
With over 23,000 people having made the journey across the Channel this year, UK officials have accused France of failing to control the situation.
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A UK spokesperson said: “We are providing funding to the French to allow them to increase surveillance, to allow them to increase the police presence that is there to prevent these crossings taking place.
“Through that investment, we have seen stoppages increase, and that is to be welcomed, but clearly with the level of crossings we are seeing per day, more needs to be done.
“It is clear that we need to keep working with our French counterparts to do more to prevent these crossings, which are putting lives at risk.
“That is why the home secretary is looking to speak to her counterpart to make those points and address this unexpected rise in illegal migrants arriving from France which we are seeing playing out in front of us.”
French police have claimed they cannot stop all the crossing as the shoreline is too long.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, there is an obligation to protect anyone in danger at sea.
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