Calais Mayor Tells Boris to ‘Calm Down’, Claims Illegal Migration Is UK’s Fault

Illegal migrants attempt to hide in lorries heading for England, in the French northern harbour of Calais, on June 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images

The Mayor of Calais has said that Boris Johnson should “calm down” about illegal boat migrants crossing the English Channel from France.

Natacha Bouchart — who recently said that the United Kingdom sending the Royal Navy into the Channel to solve the crisis would be a “declaration of maritime war” — also claimed the migrant crisis was Britain’s fault.

“If the migrants want to cross [the Channel], it is because the British themselves put out the call. They have done so by failing to touch their legislation for 20 years,” Ms Bouchart told AFPTV on Thursday, according to The Guardian.

“Therefore I appeal to Boris Johnson, saying you urgently need to calm down, and urgently need to change your methods of … dealing with migrants,” the regional mayor added.

She also told France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin, who is in current talks with his British counterpart Priti Patel to come to a solution to the crisis, not to “give in” — because the “British don’t know how to negotiate”.

“It’s only by standing firm that you achieve something,” she said.

Bouchart is not the only French politician to claim that the increase in boat landings — 4,198 at the latest official count this year — is the fault of the British.

Deputy mayor of Calais Philippe Mignonet told La Voix du Nord on Tuesday in comments reported by The Times: “I fear a tragedy one day, but the British blame us for their own hypocrisy.”

Mr Mignonet added that one of the reasons migrants want to come to the United Kingdom is because it is easy to find employment there, as “they can work in the black economy when they want, because there is no control, not on the street or in the workplace”.

President of the National Society for Rescue at Sea in Calais, Bernard Barron, also suggested Britain should “criticise themselves” and question “the reasons that make their country so attractive” to Third World migrants.

The remarks could be interpreted as a criticism of Britain’s generous welfare and asylum systems, and how they compare to France.

Migrants waiting to cross the Channel have reportedly claimed that it can take years for French authorities to process their claims for financial benefits and access to health care is restricted.

While in the United Kingdom, illegals and asylum seekers can apply immediately for financial and housing assistance even if their asylum claims have not been processed. They also have immediate access to health care and education for their school-aged children.

The French have been criticised for failing to take illegal migration seriously, with the British defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood accusing French authorities of “half-heartedness”.

“The French are unable to cope at the best of times.

“In normal circumstances, the French are only preventing around half of the dinghies crossing the Channel – but during the current spike that’s dropped to a fifth, so it’s clear that only with greater maritime collaboration with the British can we attempt to significantly reduce the success rate of the crossing,” Mr Ellwood told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Since 2015, London has sent Paris over £100 million to stop the migrants, yet reports have revealed in recent days that the French are seeking £30 million more as the British struggle to stop the current flow.

Not only have French authorities been accused of taking a half-hearted approach to policing their borders, but of actively aiding illegals.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage revealed the French Navy has been escorting migrant boats into British territorial waters.

Last year, people-smugglers claimed that French police are telling them when it is best to set sail to avoid UK Border Force patrols.

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