THEFrench Prime Minister Jean Castex rejected in a letter to his British counterpart Boris Johnson his proposal for “joint patrols” on French soil in order to prevent the departure of migrants to Great Britain. “We have always agreed to look and discuss in good faith UK proposals for enhanced cooperation. We have accepted some of them, we have declined others, ”writes Jean Castex in this text, which Agence France-Presse has had a copy of. “We cannot accept, for example, that British police or military patrol our shores; our sovereignty is at stake, ”he emphasizes.
Boris Johnson made this proposal during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on November 25, the day after a shipwreck in the Channel that left 27 dead. It also appeared in a letter from Boris Johnson to Emmanuel Macron, the publication of which by the British government ulcerated Paris and caused a new crisis between the two countries. In his letter, Boris Johnson also proposed to France “a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel”. “Returning migrants, for us, is not an option, it is not a serious or responsible way of approaching the issue,” a source told Agence France-Presse in Matignon under the guise of anonymity.
Castex campaigns for “a more efficient return policy”
“More than 700 police officers and gendarmes survey the Opal coast (north) every day to prevent makeshift boats from setting out to sea” towards England, indicates Jean Castex in his letter. “Some of these operations are carried out with the financial contribution of your government, in accordance with our cooperation agreements,” he recalls.
“However, these efforts only make it possible to contain the phenomenon, not to provide a lasting response,” said the French Prime Minister, calling on Great Britain to conduct “a more effective return policy” and to open “avenues of legal immigration to those who have legitimate reasons for wanting to go ”to this country.