France has rejected the British offer to patrol their beaches to stop migrants attempting to cross the Channel, fearing it will violate their sovereignty.
It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that discussions on possible joint Franco-British maritime patrols in the Channel that would aim to arrest and return the migrants are underway.
The number of migrants crossing the Channel hit a record 4,019 this month, surpassing the previous record of 3,879 in September – with this year’s total now a record 23,761.
Asked about possible joint patrols in the House of Commons, Ms Patel said, “We are discussing all options, whether they are naval patrols or alternative patrols.
“It is not appropriate for me to comment on the responsibilities of other government departments in this matter, but work is ongoing with our counterparts and with other government departments. ”
France has rejected British offer to patrol their beaches to stop migrants attempting to cross the English Channel, fearing it will violate their sovereignty
Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has confirmed talks on possible joint Franco-British maritime patrols in the English Channel are underway
The new arrivals bring the total number of people arriving in the UK this month to 4,019, surpassing the previous record of 3,879 in September. This year’s total is now a record 23,761
Ms Patel added that the UK had offered France Border and police officers to help reinforce the “overwhelmed” gendarmes on the European coastline, but they were told that such a program would violate French sovereignty.
It comes after the migrants were transported by bus 500 miles to Scotland for processing yesterday after arriving on Kent’s beaches as the system struggles with a record number of crossings.
Dozens of people have made the eight-hour journey to Dungavel Immigration Detention Center in Strathaven, south Lanarkshire, in recent weeks, according to a lobby group.
Until now, migrants have been treated in the Home Office’s short-term detention facilities an hour or two from Dover, but record arrivals have forced authorities to use more distant facilities.
Meanwhile, senior Tories warned yesterday that failure to tackle record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel could fuel the rise of a new UKIP-style political party.
Some conservative figures are increasingly concerned that inaction on the issue will trigger the emergence of a new right-wing political force that could cost the Conservatives their majority in the next general election.
Migrants gather on Dungeness beach on Saturday after three crowded boats arrive ashore
Shadow Labor Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds accused Ms Patel of ’empty rhetoric’ over her failure to address the issue
The Home Secretary hit back at his attack, insisting the Tories have a long-term plan to tackle immigration.
“This problem will take some time to resolve and there is no quick fix. The only solution is a large-scale reform of our asylum system, ”Patel told MEPs.
Mr Johnson has ordered a review at Whitehall of the Channel crossings and is said to be ‘exasperated’ by his government’s failure to reduce the number of migrants making the trip in small boats.
Former Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has been tasked with the review.
He will seek to find solutions to the crisis and ensure that all departments – not just the Home Office – contribute to it.
The review follows a week of record-breaking Channel crossings by migrants, 1,000 of whom reached British shores on Tuesday alone and around 24,000 made the trip this year. The figure is almost triple the number that arrived in 2020.
The Prime Minister was grilled on the subject when he appeared before the 1922 Conservative MPs Committee last week.
Former Cabinet Minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith reportedly challenged Mr Johnson at the meeting, telling the PM: ‘Migration was in our manifesto, it was in our DNA. If we don’t, they won’t forgive us.
His remarks were reportedly greeted with a slam of desks in support from his backbench colleagues.
Only one of three boats – each reportedly crammed with about 65 people – that touched down in Kent yesterday.
A poll for the Sunday Telegraph found that 77% of Conservative voters believe the government’s approach to migrant crossings is “too soft.” The number was 55 percent for the general public.
The survey, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, also found that 54% of voters disapproved of Mr Johnson’s handling of the problem, while 21% approved of it.
Conservative MPs now see the local elections next May as a potential litmus test.
A former minister told the newspaper: “If we don’t deliver our efforts on migration, it really hurts us. People are really fed up with this.