France says Britain owes them £8.4million for beach patrols and say they are being overwhelmed by migrant flash-mobs as crossings hit new daily record of 1,295 – nearly one a minute

  • France claims that the UK owes them £8.4million for their migrant beach patrols
  • On Monday a record-breaking 1,295 migrants crossed the English Channel
  • Over 22,000 migrants have made the journey across in small boats this year

Following a record breaking 1,295 migrants crossing the English Channel on Monday, France accused the UK of withholding over £8million it promised to fund beach patrols.

Patrol officers are being overwhelmed by migrants who arrive on beaches in ‘a flash-mob manner’, sometimes in their hundreds, and even become violent according to French authorities.

UK authorities intercepted 27 boats in the Channel and brought them to British shores on Monday alone, Ministry of Defence data showed.

The huge number of vessels set off from the French coast, despite about 800 daily patrols taking place along 100-miles of coast in northern France.

The local authority in France that covers Calais, said 390 migrants attempting to cross were intercepted on the day more than 1,200 made it to the UK.

The influx in crossings is partly due to smugglers trying to clear their backlogs after  bad weather prevented any boats from making the trip for several days. Making the crossing later in the year also becomes more difficult as the conditions become rougher. 

Many of the French officers who are meant to stop boats sailing to the UK are also on their summer holidays, making it even easier for the boats to avoid detection.

In an attempt to combat the growing problem, the Home Secretary Priti Patel has put deals worth more than £80million in place with France over the past three years.

France has accused the UK of not paying over £8million it owes for beach patrols that they conduct to look for migrants attempting to cross the English Channel (migrant arriving in Dover this morning)

Migrants are escorted into Dover harbour this morning, after being rescued while attempting to cross the English Channel

Migrants reportedly arrive on beaches in ‘a flash-mob manner’, sometimes in their hundreds, to overwhelm the beach patrol officers

A record breaking 1,295 migrants crossed the English Channel on Monday (migrants removing their life jackets this morning)

They deals were intended to lower the number of crossings by increasing patrols and providing surveillance equipment on the French coastline.

However, in a statement issued to The Times, the Hauts-de-France prefecture, that is responsible for the patrol officers, claimed that the British still owed €10million – £8.4million.

The region’s communication office said: ‘The difficulties are compounded by the fact that the British are not reimbursing the expenditure undertaken to contribute to the protection of the border as well as the security of the migrants.

‘Several million euros are owed to France by GB as of today (including almost €10 million to pay for the reserve gendarmes and the airborne surveillance).’

It said that more than 60 per cent of attempted crossings had been stopped this year but their ability to detect and prevent crossing has reached its limit in some areas of ‘heavy pressure’.

The cumulative number of crossings this year now stands at a provisional total of 22,670, last year’s final figure was 28,526. 

However, Home Office sources told The Times they will honour ‘every last penny’ that it has agreed to pay the French.

The French local authorities say 60 per cent of attempted crossings had been stopped this year

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Rwanda migrant scheme has been delayed by months

A total of 1,295 people were detected crossing the English Channel in small boats on Monday, the highest daily number since current records began

Border Force escorted more than 150 migrants back to Dover yesterday

In another blow, Priti Patel’s Rwanda asylum scheme is set to be in limbo for months, following a legal challenge from a trade union which represents UK Border Force officers.

Along with a group of migrant charities, the Public and Commercial Services Union has brought a judicial review of the Rwanda scheme which is due to begin on September 5.

A second hearing in a challenge brought by another charity, Asylum Aid, will take place in October.

Both will scrutinise the lawfulness of the Government’s policy that will see migrants who cross the Channel handed a one-way ticket to Rwanda to claim asylum there rather than in Britain.

The first attempt at removing migrants on a charter flight to Kigali had to be abandoned within half an hour of take-off on June 14, after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

An out-of-hours duty judge in Strasbourg, whose identity has still not been revealed, ruled that removals to Rwanda could not take place until the UK’s domestic courts had completed a full review of the policy. 

More than 5,000 Albanians have crossed the Channel to the UK this year

Of the record-breaking 1,295 migrants who reached Britain on Monday, more than 700 of them were Albanians

The cumulative number of crossings this year now stands at a provisional total of 22,670, last year’s final figure was 28,526

Another cause for the continuing rise in the number of migrants making the journey across the Channel is due to Albanian crime gangs increasing their efforts to smuggle people into the UK

Of the record-breaking 1,295 migrants who reached Britain on Monday, more than 700 of them were Albanians – about 60 per cent.

Albania, a Nato ally which aspires to join the European Union, has seen no conflict for more than 25 years but the number making the crossing is increasing ‘exponentially’.

More than 5,000 Albanians have crossed the Channel by small boat so far this year.

Yesterday morning a number of families with children arrived in to Dover after crossing the Channel

Lucy Moreton, from the ISU union which represents Border Force officers, said the weather was the short-term reason behind the high numbers of crossings.

She said: ‘It has been flat calm yesterday and is still fairly calm today.

‘However, autumn is approaching and although crossings do not stop they do become less frequent as the wave height increases.’

Ms Moreton said it was ‘possible’ the preceding three-day hiatus from crossings, thought to be down to unsuitable weather conditions over the weekend, could be behind the surge in numbers on Monday.

A government source told The Times smugglers may be trying to clear a ‘backlog’ of people who had been waiting to make the journey.

But Ms Moreton said the crossing had also become a ‘relatively safe and effective route of illegal migration into the UK’, adding: ‘It is far more certain that trying to hide in a lorry.

A group of migrants are brought ashore in Dungeness on Monday to be processed after making the Channel crossing

‘The prospect of being sent to Rwanda is not a deterrent at all; if anything it is encouraging crossings as smugglers encourage migrants to travel now before the policy comes in.’

Natalie Elphicke MP for Dover has said: ‘A key priority for the new Prime Minister will be to get the French to actually stop these boats leaving and arrest those responsible.

‘The Channel crossings can’t be allowed to carry on like this.

‘The French promised to bring this crisis to an end if we paid them millions of pounds. Yet it is plain to see that they have failed to honour their promises with more arrivals on our shores not less.’

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: ‘Enforcement of immigration laws collapsed as savage cuts in funding and personnel took hold. When will this mess be cleared up?

Mr Mehmet added that the next PM should think ‘hard’ about how to genuinely tackle the problem and avoid ‘meaningless babble’.

It comes as five African nations are now said to be in ‘advanced talks’ with UK over Rwanda-style deal.

Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger and Ghana are all in discussions with the government about receiving migrants rejected for asylum from the UK, The Times reports.

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