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Franco-British migration crisis: Darmanin announces measures and wants a “balanced agreement” with the United Kingdom


The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, speaks at a press conference this Monday, November 29, on migration between France and the United Kingdom via the Channel.

While the migratory situation between the United Kingdom and France has become tense in recent days after the sinking of a boat which left 27 dead, the Minister of the Interior announced several measures on Monday, November 29.

The French government will be ready to resume discussions to find an agreement with London on the migration crisis when “there will be no more double talk,” said the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, also calling on the Great -Brittany to open the legal route for the admission to its territory of asylum seekers.

Gérald Darmanin also stressed that Paris invited London to reduce its economic attractiveness and announced that Jean Castex would write to Boris Johnson on Tuesday to explain the French demands to him.

“We are asking the English what they are asking of Europe: that everyone respect their commitments”, he added, also dismissing the idea that has emerged in Great Britain of patrols by British soldiers or police on the French beaches, an answer which is according to him “not serious”.

Strengthening coastal surveillance

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also announced several decisions taken by Emmanuel Macron to strengthen the means to fight against smuggling networks, after the death last week of 27 migrants who were trying to cross the Channel to reach England.

Two main measures were presented, namely the strengthening of aerial surveillance and the transformation of the “Central Office for the Suppression of Irregular Immigration and the Employment of Untitled Foreigners” (OCRIEST) to prioritize in the fight against smugglers. Two additional helicopters from the Ministry of the Interior will be deployed and the Office for the fight against smugglers will see its staff doubled, said Gérald Darmanin, who was speaking after a defense and national security council held on Monday morning .

These announcements come the day after a meeting between French, Belgian, Dutch and German interior ministers devoted to the fight against illegal immigration during which it was decided to deploy a European Frontex plane.
The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had been excluded from this meeting after the publication on Thursday on Twitter, of a letter sent by Boris Johnson to Emmanuel Macron, in which the British Prime Minister proposed in particular that France take over all migrants who arrived illegally in Great Britain.

What is the Treaty of Touquet?

Signed on February 4, 2003 by Paris and London, during the 25th Franco-British summit, the Treaty of Touquet aims to regulate immigration, in particular illegal immigration, in the two countries. It complements the Sangatte protocol, concluded in May 2000.

The general principle of these texts is simple: checks on persons leaving for the United Kingdom must be carried out when trains and boats depart from France, and vice versa.

It is for this reason that the British police carry out checks at the Gare du Nord in Paris, and France at Saint-Pancras station, in London.