Migrant crisis: France 'ridiculous' for cancelling meeting says MP
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Tory MP Tim Loughton said that the onus for action in the Channel migrant crossing crisis lies with the French. Speaking with Sky News, Mr Loughton derided the French decision to cancel a meeting with the UK to discuss the Channel crossings. He described the latest move as “extraordinary” and “ridiculous” as he warned of a repeat of Wednesday’s tragedy when 27 people died making the crossing.
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin told Home Secretary Priti Patel “she was no longer welcome” at Sunday’s European meeting on migrant issues.
Talking about Wednesday’s tragedy, Mr Loughton said: “It is going to happen again if nothing is done.
“We need to come up with some practical solutions and that can only be done with the EU, the French, and the British getting together around the table and sorting out those solutions.
“The French cancelled the meeting and don’t want to talk about it. It’s extraordinary.”
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The MP continued: “The French have got to see that there are consequences to them turning a blind eye and letting thousands of people come across the Channel in this way.
“They have got to get real about this.
“There is a limit to what the UK Government can do without France. It is largely in the hands of the French.
“We have offered all sorts of things and they have rejected our offers.
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“We are paying them £54 million to beef up their security operations.
“The French have to intercept these boats as they are obliged to do so under international law.
“We want to sit down, we want to see practical solutions, and now they won’t even sit down and talk to us. It is just ridiculous.”
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Writing in The Sun earlier, Mr Loughton also remarked that the French “reluctance to intervene, this refusal to get involved, is a political decision”.
He wrote: “We could fund double the number of French police but if they are not serious about intercepting migrant groups in broad daylight, it would further anger taxpayers here by throwing more good money after bad.
“President Emmanuel Macron is seeking re-election next year and thinks dumping on the British will win him votes.
“There are still sour grapes about Brexit and an element of payback over fishing licences too.”
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