France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, has called on the British government to fulfill its duty and pay the 63 million euros (£54 million) promised by the latter so that migrants do not reach its shores.
Darmanin made the remarks during a visit to the northern port of Dunkirk on Sunday, TheSchengen.com reports.
“At the moment, not a single euro has been paid. We are asking the British to keep their promises of funding because we are keeping the borders for them,” Darmanin told reporters on Sunday.
On the other hand, the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has suggested postponing the promised payment to France if the latter does not work harder to prevent illegal immigration boats from reaching British soil.
Despite the freezing temperatures, more than 1,000 people in small and unsuitable boats made the voyage across the English Channel to the United Kingdom in two days. Although the numbers of illegal immigration and, consequently, the number of people trying to reach the UK has decreased during the pandemic, this practice is re-emerging as the world gradually reopens.
Furthermore, Darmanin noted that “immigration pressure is returning after COVID” and that France can curb the practice.
According to him, the French authorities currently hold 75 per cent of the boats bound for the UK, but the authorities can seize 100 per cent of the boards if the British government pays its share of 63 million euros, as the two countries agreed earlier this year.
In July, British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Darmanin agreed to French authorities to prevent boats from reaching the UK, in exchange for 63 million euros, which will be used to fund more police patrols across French shores.
Moreover, Kim Bryan of Channel Rescue, a volunteer organisation, told the BBC that those responsible for the jet skis had been noticed in the past two weeks. She also noted that boats are fragile and that sky jet waves may cause them to collapse.
According to the Palestinian News Agency, more than 17,000 people on small boats managed to reach the Strait of Dover near British shores in 2021.
On the other hand, the EU is also dealing with a growing number of migrants as the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, revealed that more than 103,630 people have entered the EU illegally since the beginning of the year.
The number of illegal border crossings also increased by 53 percent, as the number of detection operations reached 17,788. The largest number of violations were observed on the routes of the Mediterranean, Balkans and West Africa, with an increase of 90 percent.