Britain started returning illegal immigrants who tried to enter via small boats across the Channel back to France and Germany – after British officials urged France in particular to do more to stop the outbreak crossings.
The Times of London reports that a special charter flight took 14 migrants to the two countries after the British government found out they had already applied for asylum in one of the two countries before after checking their fingerprints in European Union databases.
UK, FRANCE AGREE TO PLAN TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT BOATS ON CANAL
Although this is only a small part of the hundreds of migrants who have landed on British shores in recent weeks from northern France, a government source told The Times that it was “the peak of the iceberg ”.
“It shows that we are bringing these people out,” a source told The Times. “It sends a message to the people who are trying to cross the Channel and to the people smugglers that we are taking out of the country.”
The Times reports that claims have been made for another 577 people who arrived this year and had already applied for asylum before traveling to Britain, meaning they can be returned under the Dublin regulations of EU – which stipulates that asylum applications must be processed by the first safe EU country migrants encounter.
The move comes a day after Immigration Minister Chris Philp said the UK and France had ‘reaffirmed our joint unwavering commitment’ to making the Channel route ‘unsustainable After hundreds of migrants have rushed to the UK coast in recent weeks.
UK UNDERTAKES TO TAKE BACK THE WAVE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ON THE ENGLISH CHANNEL
“It’s facilitated by ruthless criminal gangs, it puts lives in danger and it’s totally unnecessary,” he told Sky News after meeting with French officials in Paris.
“We have worked on a joint operational plan, a new revised operational plan, with the objective in mind to completely cut this route and we will work at the pace in the coming days to make this plan a reality,” he said. ‘said.
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Philp said more than 1,000 migrants had been detained by the French government this year, but that the numbers still passing were “unacceptable” to both governments. He noted that the Dublin settlement made it more difficult for the UK to return migrants and that Britain should be free of this settlement in 2021 when it leaves the bloc completely.