French Stopping Only 20 Per Cent of Illegal Boat Migrants: Report

Illegal immigrants wait to be expelled from their camp at Calais on May 28, 2014. French police early Wednesday began expelling around 650 migrants from camps in the northern port of Calais. AFP PHOTO / DENIS CHARLET (Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)
DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

France has only stopped an estimated one in five illegal aliens trying to leave their shores and head for Britain.

The Times estimated the figure based on the 4,100 illegal crossings so far this year, and the confirmation from immigration minister Chris Philp that the French had stopped around 1,000 more from leaving their shores.

However, as that is based on known landings in the United Kingdom — with countless others likely arriving without detection — the true proportion of those stopped could be much lower.

The figures are a sobering reminder of the French failure to get a grip of its migration issue. Data from last week also revealed that the British government has only returned one in 40 Channel migrants to the EU.

None of the near-3,000 migrants who arrived since May have been sent back.

Criticism of France’s handling of the Channel migrant crisis has escalated as the number of illegal incursions has increased, with last Thursday seeing a record 235 landings in one day. Arrivals increased at such a level that over the weekend that the Home Office was forced to ask the military for help.

France is reportedly demanding another £30 million to stop the migrants, despite the British giving the EU nation more than £100 million in the past six years to secure its borders, increase coastal monitoring, and shut down the illegal camps in towns such as Calais.

The Home Office was hoping to introduce an Australian-style pushback system, returning the boats at sea to France, but that is dependent on France accepting them.

Mr Philp met his with French counterparts on Tuesday, but they failed to agree on turning back migrants. Philp appeared not to rule out giving Paris more money.

The minister claimed, however, that he would work with France to develop a plan to make the crossings “unviable”.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticised the government’s failure to get a grip on the crisis, casting doubt on whether the government’s pledges to stop illegal aliens will come to fruition.

“Immigration Minister Chris Philp (who nobody has ever even heard of) had meetings in Paris today and says we now have an action plan that will counter illegal crossings. Don’t hold your breath folks,” Mr Farage said.

Mr Farage was in Dover — the primary landing site for illegals — on Wednesday and said that stopping the migrants was not just turning the boats back, but letting illegals know that if they take the English Channel route, their asylum application will be rejected.

“Until people know that coming via this route, that they are not going to be allowed to stay, they will just keep on coming. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

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