France: Black Market Britain is ‘Economically Attractive’ Pull-Factor for Illegal Migrants

Migrants sit beside a boat used to cross the English Channel as more migrants are helped ashore from a RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness, on the south-east coast of England, on November 24, 2021, after being rescued while making the crossing. - The past …
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

France’s interior minister has said that the United Kingdom is too attractive to migrants, the latest salvo in an ongoing cross-channel attempt by London and Paris to shift the blame for the Channel crisis to each other.

Britain’s open borders and thriving black market, meaning that illegal migrants find it easy to get work without the government interfering with them, is a considerable pull factor encouraging migrants to make the journey north, it is claimed.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has stated that the current crisis in the English Channel is a result of migrants being “attracted by England, especially the labour market which means you can work in England without any identification”.

“Britain must take its responsibility and limit its economic attractiveness,” demanded the French minister according to Sky News.

“Britain left Europe, but not the world. We need to work seriously on these questions, without being held hostage by domestic British politics.”

The French minister’s argument mirrors calls from anti-mass migration figures in the UK, who have been critical of the government for offering generous welfare packages for asylum seekers, even if they entered the country illegally.

Commenting on the issue on Sunday, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said: “You can put 20,000 police on the beaches in France but if the pull factors remain as strong here, namely four-star accommodation, three square meals a day, healthcare, dental care, spending money and the massive illegal economy that thrives in Britain with slave conditions, although nobody dares want to talk about that whether it is in Leicester or wherever it is.”

On top of the “pull factors”, illegal migrants face little threat of actually being deported by the Conservative government, with just five of the over 25,000 illegal boat migrants being removed from the country since the start of the year.

While European migration ministers held a summit in Calais on Sunday, following the death of 27 migrants off the coast of Calais last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel was relegated to communicating directly with the Dutch Minister for Migration, Ankie Broekers-Knol.

The home secretary was barred from the European talks after an open letter published online by Prime Minister Boris Johnson supposedly caused outrage amongst French officials, with President Macron saying communications should not be conducted “via tweets”.

“The Home Secretary expressed that it was unfortunate that she wouldn’t be present at today’s meeting of interior ministers to discuss this issue,” a statement from the Home Office read.

Patel and her Dutch counterpart rolled out the standard government line of the importance of dealing with human trafficking networks and for the importance to come to an agreement on “shared solutions”. The meeting failed, however, to achieve any meaningful progress on the issue.

Amid the meeting, Nigel Farage took aim at the government’s response to the continuing waves of migrants crossing the Channel, which he described as being “utterly rudderless”.

“I think it is possible that by the spring or summer of next year this [the Channel crossings by migrants] will become a national emergency,” Farage said.

“I think the numbers that will come will dwarf what you are currently seeing. I’ve not been wrong on a single prediction on this.”

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