French Govt: Migrants Threatened to Throw Babies Into English Channel

TOPSHOT - 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 crossing the English Channel. - The past three years have seen a significant rise in attempted Channel …
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmananin has claimed that migrants have threatened to throw babies overboard into the English Channel if the police attempted to stop them from departing for the UK.

Interior Minister Darmanin spoke at a press conference on Sunday, saying that illegal migrants were making attempts to blackmail French authorities into letting them cross the English Channel.

“…the migrants were using babies and threatening to throw them into the water a few feet away, or on an engine, if [the French police] came to arrest them,” Darmanin said, the European Union-funded news website InfoMigrants reports.

“As Minister of the Interior, I repeat, the instruction is not to intervene. We cannot endanger the lives of children, of old people who are sometimes thrown into the sea. This is an observation that the French police have unfortunately been making for many years,” Darmanin said.

It is not the first time such claims have been made. In 2020 it was claimed in the UK establishment media that the French found themselves unable to interdict migrants at sea because “When rigid-hulled inflatable dinghies are approached by French patrol vessels, the migrants threaten to jump overboard or throw their children into the water to prevent officials from helping them.”

This meant “The French have little option but to back off and shadow the boats until they are close to a UK Border Force vessel”, it was alleged.

Rising numbers of migrant arrivals in the English channel have led to tensions between the UK government and the French government in recent weeks, particularly following the deaths of 27 migrants earlier in the month who drowned after their boat capsized.

London and Paris have bickered over who exactly is responsible for the chaos in the channel, but ultimately nothing has been done.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson slammed the French government in the wake of the deaths, saying France had not been doing enough to halt the migrant boats and the smuggling gangs who run them.

“I say to our partners now is the time for us all to step up, to work together, to do everything we can to break these gangs who are literally getting away with murder,” Prime Minister Johnson said.

French President Emmanuel Macron later reacted to a letter from Prime Minister Johnson aimed at tackling the migrant crisis saying, “We don’t communicate from one leader to another on these subjects like this via tweets or by making letters public,” and said he would work with the British government “when they decide to be serious about it.”

French politicians have accused Britain of making itself too attractive to illegal migrants, particularly with the permissive environment that exists in the UK where deportations are rare and work for illegals is easily found on the black market.


Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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