French Interior Minister Gerald Dormann on Saturday called for talks on a migration agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Darman also called on the British government to “keep its promise” to provide financial support in the fight against illegal immigrants who gather on the northern French coast in an attempt to enter England.
“We need to negotiate an agreement, because Mr. (Michelle) Barnier did not do that when he discussed Brexit, which binds us to immigration issues,” the interior minister said. Presiding in January
Barnier, who is now running for president in France, was the EU’s Brigadier General during the full negotiations on an agreement to cover relations with Britain after secession from the EU.
Darmen was speaking during a visit to Lone Plage, a town on the coast of northern France.
The issue of smuggling of migrants across the Channel to the south of England is a source of constant friction between Paris and London, at least not on the question of their policing costs.
According to the French Coast Guard, a total of 15,400 people tried to cross the channel in the first eight months of this year, up 50% from the 2020 figure.
“The (British) government has not yet fulfilled the promise it made to us,” Darman said. “We urge the British to keep their promise of financial assistance as we maintain the border for them.”
Under an agreement reached in July, the UK agreed to finance border security in France for 62.7 million euros (.8 73.8 million).
According to British media reports, British Home Secretary Priti Patel had in September threatened to withhold money in light of the record number of immigrants from France.
“France has maintained the border for our British friends for 20 years,” Darman said.
He added that the French side has hired more genders, purchased more technical equipment and thus “significantly reduced the pressure on migration”.
He said France was “an ally of Britain” but “not its ruler”.
The interior minister said that in the last three months, France has stopped 65% of efforts by illegal immigrants, which is more than 50%.
Darmanin added that he had received assurances from the director of the European Border Surveillance Agency, Frontex, that it would be ready to monitor the coastal area by the end of the year, especially through aerial surveillance.