Migrant Tragic in the English Channel

Migrant Tragic in the English Channel

What just happened?

On Sunday, France is hosting a meeting of European ministers to discuss ways to stop migrants from crossing the Channel in rubber boats but excluding Britain, which was left on the sidelines after last week's squabble. (1)

What does this mean?

While France and the UK agree on the need to tackle traffickers more effectively, they remain divided over how to prevent people from travelling to northern France in search of travel to the UK. In particular, Johnson offered France to return migrants illegally crossing the English Channel from French to British shores. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson then tweeted a letter sent to President Emmanuel Macron calling for joint patrols along the northern coast of France and a bilateral return agreement so that migrants who have entered the UK illegally can be sent back to France. The prime minister further stated “I wrote to President Macron tonight, suggesting that we move on and faster to avoid crossing the English Channel and to avoid a repeat of yesterday's tragedy, which claimed the lives of at least 27 people”. (2)

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Johnson angered the Champs-Elysees by tweeting a letter calling for joint patrols of French beaches and the return of migrants to France who managed to make the dangerous passage across the English Channel. Downing Street continued to insist that the restitution agreement, as Johnson pointed out in a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron last week that infuriated Paris, would be "the biggest deterrent" for migrants trying to sail by sea. France has invited the UK to process asylum applications in northern France. (3)

Ministers from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium will meet on Sunday afternoon in the port of Calais in northern France to discuss how to deal with gangs of traffickers who supply boats to migrants trying to cross the narrow waterway. Calais, the main point of departure for migrants looking to enter the UK, is also the meeting point for ministers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and EU officials on Sunday. From London, Pan Pilas and Jill Lawless, Oleg Chetinich in Calais and Thomas Adamson in Paris will also contributed. (4)

How does this impact the legal sector?

Earlier, France stated that it would put forward proposals to resolve the immigration crisis in the English Channel. The Minister of Internal Affairs suggested that negotiations with the United Kingdom could be resumed after diplomatic quarrels. (5)

Attempts to curb illegal immigration from France to the UK have been made for some time without much success. "Previously, illegal migrants tried to enter by train or truck. Some 6,880 people have crossed the Channel in small boats since early November, according to Migration Watch, bringing the total for this year to 26,631. (6)

Looking at the numbers ... it's hard to argue that France is failing to prevent a large number of crossovers. "The UK has more migrant-friendly legislation, and there are more opportunities for comfortable living there or in Germany than in France. However, there are also about 400,000 illegal migrants in France, and I suspect that the law enforcement agencies have enough problems and don't want to spend their energy on controlling the long coastline," said Sergei Fedorov, one of the leading experts at the European Institute of Sciences of the Russian Academy. (7)

It also argues that migrants often cross the border from Belgium just hours before attempting to cross the English Channel and calls on European partners to step up their cooperation to dismantle trafficking networks. The source said the priority for the interior ministers is to agree with France on how to control the beaches better and then pass legislation on citizenship and borders in parliament to quell some of the so-called pull factors. (8)

The French side has already begun to fulfil this promise, taking into custody several people allegedly involved in organizing the deadly journey. Despite the political crisis caused by human tragedy - the deadliest migrant to cross the Channel in recent years - the problem of migrants trying to enter the UK from France goes even further. (9) We now wait for what enfolds.

The Legists Content Team

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#Bates Wells #Kingsley Napley LLP #Laura Devine Immigration #Magrath Sheldrick LLP #Mishcon de Reya LLP #PwC LLP #Carter Thomas Solicitors #Charles Russell Speechlys LLP #Deloitte Legal #Lewis Silkin LLP #Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

1 https://japantoday.com/category/world/britain-snubbed-as-france-hosts-channel-migration-talks and https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/pm-steps-push-uk-eu-201338010.html

2 https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2021/11/27/relatives-of-kurdish-woman-who-drowned-in-the-english-channel-demand-action/,https://japantoday.com/category/world/britain-snubbed-as-france-hosts-channel-migration-talks and https://www.krqe.com/news/world/france-lashes-out-at-britains-latest-proposal-on-migrants/

3 https://japantoday.com/category/world/britain-snubbed-as-france-hosts-channel-migration-talks and https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/pm-steps-push-uk-eu-201338010.html

4 https://japantoday.com/category/world/britain-snubbed-as-france-hosts-channel-migration-talks and https://www.krqe.com/news/world/france-lashes-out-at-britains-latest-proposal-on-migrants/

5 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/25/world/migrants-drown-france-uk, https://www.krqe.com/news/world/france-lashes-out-at-britains-latest-proposal-on-migrants/ and https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/pm-steps-push-uk-eu-201338010.html

6 https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2021/11/27/relatives-of-kurdish-woman-who-drowned-in-the-english-channel-demand-action/ and https://tass.com/pressreview/1366615

7 https://tass.com/pressreview/1366615 and https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/channel-tragedy-spad-wars-spotted-at-the-spec/

8 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/25/world/migrants-drown-france-uk and https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/channel-tragedy-spad-wars-spotted-at-the-spec/

9 https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2021/11/27/relatives-of-kurdish-woman-who-drowned-in-the-english-channel-demand-action/,https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/25/world/migrants-drown-france-uk and https://tass.com/pressreview/1366615



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