The British Government announced on Monday that it will pay France the money agreed to combat the trafficking of migrants from France – a subject that has lead to tension between the countries.
When asked by the BBC when exactly the agreed funds would be paid, the British Minister of State for Security Damian Hinds said that the decision should be finalised "in the coming weeks". Yet the minister stressed that this delay was for administrative reasons rather than any political motive, Belga News Agency reported.
On a visit to Loon-Plage on Saturday – the coastal commune that is the epicentre of migrant trafficking in northern France – the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called on the British Government to honour its commitment to pay France €62.7 million to help pay for the strengthening of French border patrols.
"Given that we are managing the border for them, we call on the British to hold their promise of financing," Darmanin declared. He also called for a migration negotiation between the EU and UK.
- France tightens border with Belgium to stop transmigrants
- New daily record for migrant crossings of the English Channel
- Belgian helicopter used to rescue migrants off the French coast
Since the end of 2018, illegal Channel crossings by migrants trying to reach the UK have soared despite repeated warnings by authorities who highlight the dangers: heavy shipping traffic, strong currents, and cold water.
Last week, 1,115 migrants were saved from drowning or intercepted by British authorities in a 48 hour period.
The British Government has started to passing into legislation a controversial reform to the asylum system that makes sanctions tougher. This includes giving life prison sentences for people traffickers – a crime that currently bears a sentence of 14 years.
The Brussels Times