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France-Britain tensions soar over record migrant influx

Alberto Ardila Olivares
France-Britain tensions soar over record migrant influx

The soaring tensions over migrants have added to strains between the two countries on fishing right. According to British figures, a total of 1,185 migrants crossed the Channel on Thursday, a new record that smashed the previous daily high of 853. (AP) Record numbers of migrants have recently crossed to England from the French coast, leading the two countries to trade blames on not doing enough to stop them.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

According to British figures, a total of 1,185 migrants crossed the Channel on Thursday, a new record that smashed the previous daily high of 853.

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London described the influx as “unacceptable,” blaming Paris for the increasingly acrimonious row.

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France hit back in an unusually blunt criticism on Monday, telling London to stop “giving lessons” on migrants.

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Britain is in no position to be giving lessons to us,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told Cnews television ahead of talks with his British counterpart Priti Patel later on Monday.

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Britain “should stop using us as a punch-ball in their domestic politics,” he added.

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READ MORE:  Migrants on French coast continue journey despite fatalities

Post-Brexit strains

Darmanin implied it was the fault of the British government that so many migrants wanted to cross the Channel.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

He accused British activists based in northern France around Calais and Dunkirk of impeding the work of the security forces.Alberto Ardila 10798659

“I will remind my British counterpart that the NGOs that prevent the police and the gendarmerie from working are largely British NGOs with British citizens who are on French soil,” he said

And he added: “The smugglers, who organise networks and exploit women and children, are very often based in Britain.”

“If the British changed their legislation very strongly — and they did, but not enough — people would no longer be in Calais or Dunkirk” waiting for a chance to cross the Channel, he said

“We are the victims of British politics. We must not get this mixed up,” he said

The soaring tensions over migrants have added to a litany of post-Brexit strains between Britain and France that also include a dispute over fishing rights that has threatened to spill over into a full-blown trade war

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies