Published On: Sat, Aug 8th, 2020

Migrant crisis FURY: France demands British taxpayer pays £30m to curb migrant smuggling | Politics | News

Britain could also deploy Royal Navy boats and spotter aircraft in the English Channel as early as this week in an attempt to stop the flow of migrants making their way into the UK. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Ben Wallace, the Defence secretary, have joined forces to create a strategy to distribute naval vessels, drones and even spy aircraft to curb smuggling attempts on the south coast of England, senior Government sources told The Telegraph.

On Tuesday, the UK will present its strategy to the French government in Paris.

In the plans, Royal Navy and Border Force vessels will pick up the migrants and their life rafts and take them directly to Dunkirk in northern France.

But the plans still need France’s approval.

On Saturday night, it was revealed that France will demand that the UK pays £30million towards patrol forces on the northern coast of France.

A Home Office source said ministers were still discussing the potential response to the proposal.

The source added: “Throughout history French governments have demanded money to end migrant crossings.”

In a separate discussion, a senior French government official dismissed demands for France to do more to combat smuggling as “fantasy claims”.

A senior French government official told the Telegraph: “The simple fact is that a huge amount of work is successfully being put into stopping these crossings.

READ MORE: France quarantine: Boris Johnson warned to brace for major backlash

Tim Loughton MP, the senior Conservative member of the Home Affairs select committee which monitors immigration for Parliament, criticised France’s demands for additional funds.

He said: “It is pretty rich for the French to be demanding yet more money from UK taxpayers to deal with a problem that they have singularly failed to deal with on their own territory.

“Throwing more money after bad when the problem could be solved if they agreed to turn around boats in the water and for us to repatriate illegal immigrants.”

In recent days, record numbers of migrants have attempted to get from northern France to southern England.

Mild weather and calm waters are believed to have motivated their efforts to cross the Channel.

Some 4,000 migrants have so far crossed this year, more than double the total for the whole of 2019.

At least 350 people have been intercepted in the past two days.

Thursday marked the single-day record with 235 people intercepted.

On Saturday, 17 boats were brought to the UK with 146 migrants on board.

One migrant in a wheelchair was also seen being brought ashore in Dover.

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