Macron ‘will make those types of comments’ says Priti Patel
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The French President vetoed a decision by EU border agency Frontex to contract a British company for the managing of migrants crossings in the English Channel, according to Le Journal du Dimanche. The French newspaper claimed DEA Aviation, based at Retford Airport, Nottinghamshire, was to be granted the contract by Frontex but Emmanuel Macron’s government allegedly blocked the move because of Brexit.
The claim sparked fury in the UK, with Express.co.uk readers demanding Boris Johnson cuts all ties with his French counterpart.
One reader blasted: “Macron is not being petty, it is a deliberate attempt to exclude a company who might do the job properly and actually prevent the boats departing which would show the French up for the corrupt charlatans or incompetents that they are.
“He’s afraid they will quickly succeed where they have failed for decades.”
And another one: “Let this company patrol the sea border on our side and intercept any refugee boats and hand them over to our navy to repatriate them, stop paying France millions to do nothing.”
Someone else added: “The sooner the UK learns to treat France as an enemy state the better – we should be banning any and all french contracts within the UK on a tit for tat basis.”
Another reader suggested: “The UK should veto the sale of French cars, wine, bottled water etc to the rich UK market.”
Someone else echoed: “Maybe it’s time for UK public authorities eg Police and Ambulance to stop sourcing vehicles from Renault and Peugeot as the UK is no longer bound by the EU Procurement Directive.”
Finally, another furious reader said: “All France needs to do is to control their own borders and ban the sale of small dinghy boats, bigger boats can then be turned back mid-Channel by our own Border Force but France insists on punishing the UK for Brexit by sending over illegal migrants.
“All I can say in response to their non-action is one word – fishing – which will end for French fishermen if they refuse to carry out their responsibilities!”
The French newspaper wrote: “With the background of Brexit, Paris does not want to hear any talk of such an option.
“Off the record, France has imposed an outright refusal on Frontex.”
A senior interior ministry official said: “We are waiting for Frontex to put into action resources from inside the European Union.”
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The newspaper claimed the French government was furious over Frontex’s decision to choose a British company over Dutch and Austrian contenders.
Frontex and the French interior ministry said that discussions were continuing.
It comes as Britain agreed to pay an extra £54million for the Channel security effort.
The extra funding is hoped to prevent further crossings in a year that has seen record numbers of small boat crossings.
More than 11,000 migrants have attempted the dangerous crossing this year.
A record 592 people attempted to make the crossing in only a single day last Thursday.
The UK Border Force is expecting this year’s total number of attempted crossings to exceed 22,000 – almost three times as many as last year.
Around 100 migrants have been rescued just off the coast of Calais in northern France while trying to cross the English Channel, said the local French maritime body on Saturday, without specifying from where those migrants had come.
French President Emmanuel Macron said this month that there was a risk a wave of migrants would sweep towards Europe due to the turmoil in Afghanistan after Taliban Islamists seized power in that country.
Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel urged France to increase beach patrols in Northern France as she expects the numbers of immigrants attempting to cross the channel will increase after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
Ms Patel wants France to go “over and above” funding provided by the UK to tackle the problem.
A Government source told The Times: “Both the UK and France must do everything within their power to reverse the appalling increase in small boats.
“We are taking rapid action here at home, with our new plan for immigration and the borders bill cutting down the pull factors but it’s important that France surge their efforts to prevent these dangerous crossings.”
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