Migrant crossings: France 'making excuses' says Admiral
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Former Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry who was the first Chair of the UK Government’s Marine Management Organisation until 2011 discussed the migrant crisis and blasted the French for not doing their bit. French authorities have claimed they are unable to intervene in migrant boat crossing because they can only get involved if their help is asked for, Dr Parry branded it an “excuse” as he pointed out crimes in their waters are rightfully investigated without this interpretation before telling LBC the different methods the UK could explore to deal with its crisis.
Speaking on LBC, Dr Parry joined host Tom Swarbrick as the pair discussed the migrant crossings in the Channel.
This week saw daily crossing records broken once again with 482 arrivals on Wednesday and a further 475 on Thursday.
Criminal gangs appear to be ramping up their efforts as the UK is set to crack down on the crossings through a new migrant bill which has passed its second reading.
Dr Parry looked at why France was not doing their bit with Mr Swarbrick pointing out French authorities claim law prevents them from intervening.
The former Navy officer replied: “I think that is an excuse, if they say a crime is being committed in their territorial seas they are perfectly at liberty to go and find out what is going on.”
Mr Swarbrick wondered why the UK was giving them a further £54million to bolster defences and patrols in northern France.
This is on top of the £115million already spent by the UK Government over the course of three years as part of a UK/French agreement to stop the crossings.
Dr Parry added; “It’s supposed to stop the migrants coming off the French coast but part of the problem is that the French aren’t doing their job very well.
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“I think if you look at the various solutions which are available at the moment, on the real hard-edge you have the Australian method which is you tow people back like they did in the Pacific.
“Make it an offence to try and get into Australia and if you committed that offence then you’re never allowed to settle there and everyone is processed offshore.
“The Government at the moment would like to have a turn back policy but of course France won’t accept that.”
Dr Parry concluded by saying while the UK is also exploring processing asylum seekers offshore, the proper way of dealing with the issue is to introduce “watertight” surveillance” in France to prevent the crossings from happening in the first place.
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The Nationality and Borders Bill is currently making its way through parliament which the Government hopes will crack down on people traffickers.
The bill proposes those who enter the UK via a safe country will have that considered on their application and may deny them entry to the UK.
Stronger jail sentences will also be introduced for those illegally entering the UK.
Border Force will also be given additional powers to take on crossings in the Channel by using force if necessary to turn back boats.
In July, former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage caused a huge debate after he suggested the RNLI acted as a “taxi service” for migrants in the Channel by sailing out to rescue them and bringing them back to the UK.
The RNLI hit out and said they would rescue anyone who required their help regardless of politics.
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