Britain is still failing to appropriately crack down on illegal migrants crossing the English Channel, French authorities have claimed.
In a report published on January 4, the country’s Court of Accounts accused the UK authorities of failing to properly engage with their French counterparts, hampering efforts to control migrant flows.
“Despite the joint declaration of the French and British interior ministers of November 14, 2022, who committed to improving the work of dismantling organised crime and networks, the Court found that the British do not communicate usable intelligence on the departures of ‘small boats’,” the document reads.
It goes on to criticise the quality of information handed over to French authorities, accusing the British of failing to properly cross-reference intelligence.
“Concerning the conditions of arrival of migrants, the references or serial numbers of boats and engines, nationalities, the information seems very fragmentary,” it added.
“The relationship between France and the United Kingdom is therefore unbalanced in terms of exchanges of information and intelligence.”
The number of small boats carrying migrants across the English Channel to the UK has topped 100,000 since 2018. https://t.co/I8kxVIJgFj
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 11, 2023
It is not the first time France has criticised Britain.
Despite the surging number of illegal migrants over the last number of years, the UK’s Tory party government has proven hesitant to take action.
This has prompted the Macron government to lash out at Westminster, with Paris repeatedly accusing Britain of fuelling the crisis with its generous welfare state and lax law enforcement.
Things do not appear to have changed much during 2023, with only 24,000 failed asylum seekers being deported from Britain last year compared to 40,000 in 2016.
France has meanwhile vowed to take a more hostile approach to questionable asylum claims, with the government adamant it will push through reforms aimed at making deportations easier this year.
The country has already seen its deportation of criminal migrants surge, with 30 per cent more foreign offenders being deported last year compared to 2022.
“At the end of January, the immigration law will further increase these expulsions considerably,” Macron’s Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, said.
"The war is happening on your shores. The migrant crisis is happening on your shores."@RubinReport tells @JustinStares that EU leaders have a year to figure out how to address their own problems amid increasing U.S. apathy and a potential change in administration next year. pic.twitter.com/8PuZg9CZ23
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) November 20, 2023