Migrant crisis: French MP tells Priti to get tougher ‘Easier to be illegal in the UK!’

Migrant crisis: French MP says it’s ‘easier to be illegal in the UK’

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Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont has slammed the British Government’s immigration laws amid a warning that Downing Street needs to get tougher on illegal migration in the face of rising attempts to cross the English Channel in small boats. Mr Dumont argued that it is “easier to be illegal in the UK than anywhere else in Europe” as the French MP discussed France’s response to the migrant crisis in the Channel on Euronews.

Mr Dumont told Euronews: “I think it is time for the British Government to change its internal law to make it harder and harder for illegal migrants to get a job in the UK, to get a house in the UK, to live in communities in the UK.

“Why all these migrants are in Calais is not because they want to stay in Calais

“It is because they want to go to the UK.

“Because it is easier to be illegal in the UK than anywhere else in Europe.”

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Since the start of the year, more than 18,000 people have succeeded in reaching the UK on board small boats, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

A flurry of crossing attempts last Friday saw 624 people reach the UK – the fourth-highest daily tally on record during the current crisis.

Crossings continued on Saturday with at least 491 people, including children, arriving in Britain after making the perilous journey.

The UK Government has promised to pay France £54 million to help stop small boat migrant crossings.

However, on the weekend a French minister claimed “not one euro has been paid”.

Asked by BBC News when the cash would be given to the French, Home Office Minister Damian Hinds said: “We are working closely with the French and I expect that question that you have raised to be finalised in the coming weeks.”

He added that an “administrative process” rather than any “political question” had led to the delay in France receiving the money.

He said: “I didn’t say it was an error, it is a process to be worked through when you are transferring what are very large sums of taxpayers’ money.”

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On Saturday, French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said: “For now, not one euro has been paid.

“We are asking the British to keep their promises of financing because we are holding the border for them.”

During a visit to Dunkirk, he also called on Britain to take measures to reduce its “attractiveness” for migrants without residency papers, without elaborating.

On Sunday, Labour shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to “come clean” over her strategy to tackle small boats crossings.


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