Calais Meeting: Priti Patel is not in the Migrant Crisis meeting

By Malu Cursino
BBC News

Image source, PA Media

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary has warned European politicians not to work together on the continent’s migrants crisis. This will cause “even more” scenes in this winter’s English Channel.

France will host ministers from Belgium, France and the Netherlands as well as officials of the European Commission for talks.

Following a disagreement between Boris Johnson (France) and Emmanuel Macron (France), Ms Patel was expelled from the summit.

However, she promised to continue to work for progress to end the crisis.

As they were heading to the UK, 27 drowned. Their boat was lost in Channel. It was reported by the International Organization for Migrations as the Channel’s single most tragic loss of life since its inception in 2014.

There are many questions regarding why people continue to attempt the journey in spite of the dangers.

  • The Channel Deaths: What are our current findings?
  • Why are migrants leaving France to seek work in the UK?
  • The UK’s highest asylum claim since 2004

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, publicly shared the letter he’d sent to French President on Friday to discuss the present situation.

It outlined five steps: Joint patrols of Channel, greater use of technology, marine patrols in each others’ waters, strengthened co-operation with intelligence services, negotiation about a policy to return migrants from the UK to France

Macron was angered by this letter, which according to French officials “double-talk” with the UK.

The home secretary was resentful in Paris and he canceled his invitation.

But the UK government confirmed that British officials will attend the Calais meeting even if she is not there.

Ms. Patel spoke out in light of tensions between the Franco and British. “The UK can’t tackle this problem alone. Europe needs to all step up and take responsibility and cooperate during times of crisis.”

She said: “We won’t hesitate to face the challenge that we face. Next week, I will continue pushing for greater cooperation with European partners. Failure to do so could cause even worse scenes during the next winter months in the freezing water.”

Ms. Patel stated that the conversation she had with Gerald Darmanin on Thursday was constructive.

Sky News: Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy stated that while the UK and France were playing blame games, children are drowning off their coastlines.

Her party said it would collaborate with international partners to open up “safe and legal pathways” for refugees, in order to “pull the rug from under the current business model these smugglers rely upon”.

Controls tightened

People smugglers have been transporting migrants in lorries to the UK for many years. Although the route to Britain is more secure than small boats it has been accompanied by tragedies such as those 39 Vietnamese who were found in an unrefrigerated vehicle in 2019 with their bodies.

The security measures at Port of Calais, France where UK border control operate has been tightened.

Tony Smith, ex-director general of the UK Border Force, said that this has led to more efforts to ship people via boat.

The number of small boats crossing the channel has risen significantly this year compared to previous years.

Official estimates show that asylum applications to the UK are at an all-time high since 2004. However, asylum requests are being processed in high numbers by other European countries.

Many fleeing conflict areas choose to file an asylum request in the country where they first arrive.

Germany had the most asylum seekers in Europe last year (122,015 applicants), whereas France had 93.475 applicants.

The UK also received the fifth most applicants (36,000) in comparison to EU countries (roughly 7%). According to UN Refugee Agency, this is the 17th highest intake per capita.


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