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Migrants: France rejects joint patrols with the United Kingdom


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France is not prepared to implement joint patrols with the United Kingdom on the French coasts as part of the fight against illegal Channel crossings, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday in a letter to his British counterpart, Boris Johnson.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex rejected in a letter to his British counterpart Boris Johnson, Thursday, December 2, his proposal for “joint patrols” on French soil in order to prevent the departure of migrants to Great Britain.

“We have always agreed to look and discuss in good faith UK proposals for enhanced cooperation. We have accepted some, we have declined others, ”writes Jean Castex in this text, which AFP has had a copy of.

>> To read also: “Calais in shock after the deadliest sinking of migrants in the Channel”

“We cannot accept, for example, that British police or military patrol our shores; our sovereignty is at stake, ”he emphasizes.

Boris Johnson made this proposal during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on November 25, the day after a shipwreck in the Channel that left 27 dead.

” This is not serious “

It also appeared in a letter from the British Prime Minister to the French President, the publication of which by the British government has ulcerated Paris and caused a new crisis between the two countries. In his letter, Boris Johnson also proposed to France “a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel”.

“Returning migrants, for us, is not an option, it is not a serious or responsible way of approaching the issue,” a source told AFP in Matignon on condition of anonymity. .

>> To read also: “Maryam, 24 years old, first identified victim of the sinking of migrants in the Channel”

“More than 700 police and gendarmes survey the Opal Coast every day to prevent makeshift boats from taking to sea” towards England, indicates Jean Castex in his letter. “Some of these operations are carried out with the financial contribution of your government, in accordance with our cooperation agreements,” he recalls.

“However, these efforts only make it possible to contain the phenomenon, not to provide a lasting response,” said the French Prime Minister, calling on the United Kingdom to conduct “a more effective return policy” and to open “avenues legal immigration to those who have legitimate reasons for wanting to go ”to this country.

With AFP and Reuters

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