France expands sea monitoring as migrants vow to pursue UK dream

France pledged to step up surveillance of its northern shores, but migrants huddling in makeshift camps said neither that nor a tragic drowning the day before would stop them from trying to cross the Channel to Britain

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11/26/2021 9:33:00 AM

France pledged to step up surveillance of its northern shores, but migrants huddling in makeshift camps said neither that nor a tragic drowning the day before would stop them from trying to cross the Channel to Britain

France pledged on Thursday to step up surveillance of its northern shores, but migrants huddling in makeshift camps said neither that nor a tragic drowning the day before would stop them from trying to cross the Channel to Britain.

The deaths deepened animosity between Britain and France, already at odds over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said France was at fault and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin accused Britain of "bad immigration management".Register now for FREE unlimited access to

RegisterPresident Emmanuel Macron defended Paris's actions but said France was merely a transit country for many migrants and more European cooperation was needed to tackle illegal immigration."I will ... say very clearly that our security forces are mobilised day and night," Macron said during a visit to the Croatian capital Zagreb, promising "maximum mobilisation" of French forces, with reservists and drones watching the coast.

"But above all, we need to seriously strengthen cooperation ... with Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain and the European Commission."Johnson later on Thursday announced that he had offered to meet Macron and other European leaders to discuss five steps that he said could reduce the crossings.

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They included joint patrols to prevent more boats from leaving French beaches from as soon as next week, using sensors and radar and immediate work on a returns agreement with France and a similar deal with the European Union, Johnson said."This would have an immediate effect and would significantly reduce - if not stop - the crossings, saving lives, by fundamentally breaking the business model of the criminal gangs," Johnson said in a letter that he sent to Macron and published on Twitter.

When Britain left the EU, it was no longer able to use the bloc's system for returning migrants to the first member state they entered.'MAYBE WE DIE'Wednesday's was the worst such incident on record in the waterway separating Britain and France, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

But migrants in a small makeshift camp on the outskirts of Dunkirk, near the seashore, said they would keep trying to reach Britain,whatever the risks."Yesterday is sad and it is scary but we have to go by boat, there is no other way," said 28-year old Manzar, a Kurd from Iran, huddled by a fire alongside a few friends.

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1/6French police patrol the Slack dunes, the day after 27 migrants died when their dinghy deflated as they attempted to cross the English Channel, in Wimereux, near Calais, France, November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal RossignolRead More"Maybe it's dangerous, maybe we die, but maybe it will be safe. We have to try our chance. It's a risk, we already know it is a risk." Manzar said he had left Iran six months ago and arrived in France 20 days ago, after walking across Europe.

Britain repeated an offer to have joint British-French patrols off the French coast near Calais.Paris has resisted such calls and it is unclear whether it will change its mind five months before a presidential election in which migration and security are important topics.

Migration is also a sensitive issue in Britain, where Brexit campaigners told voters that leaving the European Union would mean regaining control of borders. London has in the past threatened to cut financial support for France's border policing if it fails to stem the flow of migrants.

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British interior minister Priti Patel is due to meet her counterparts from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Sunday in Calais.Johnson said in his letter to Macron that he was ready to upgrade the meeting into a leaders' summit.Patel was sending officials to Paris on Friday.

EU Migration Commissioner Ylva Johansson said she would offer France financial help and assistance from the bloc's border force, Frontex.'A TRAGEDY THAT WE DREADED'Rescue volunteers and rights groups said drownings were to be expected as smugglers and migrants take more risks to avoid a growing police presence.

"To accuse only the smugglers is to hide the responsibility of the French and British authorities," the Auberge de Migrants NGO said.

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Wanting to go to the UK while in France sounds so ridiculous to me. They surely haven’t tried the food yet.

Channel deaths fuel UK-France tensions over migrant boatsThe deaths of at least 27 people in the English Channel is fueling tensions between the U.K. and France over how to stop migrants from crossing the world’s busiest waterway in small boats. They know there's a tunnel, right?

France and Britain seek answers while trading blame after migrant tragedyFrance and Britain sought answers on Thursday on how to deter migrants from trying to cross the sea separating them after 27 people died making the attempt in an inflatable dinghy, the worst accident of its kind in the Channel on record.

France, U.K. Grapple With Migrant Boat Crossings After 27 DrownThe surge in perilous crossings that resulted in 27 people found drowned in the English Channel underscores the challenge facing the U.K. and France in dissuading migrants from trying to reach Britain Just like mexican style empathy for us as country Turkey what are facing wow

France says neighbours, including UK, must do more to tackle human traffickingFrench Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Thursday that Britain, Belgium and Germany needed to do more to help France tackle illegal migrants and human trafficking. Interpol needs to do more to stop people traffickers. They sell these poor buggers on a lie that leads them to take risks, and this is the same not only in Europe but also in South-East Asia and Central America. They're leaving your coast line you should do more to stop them! The people to blame are The Smugglers, The French Authorities, The Migrants themselves. 3 groups who caused these Deaths. Put the blame where it belongs. Nobody held a gun to their heads n Told them to get on them dinghies. Its Dreadfully sad.

Migrant deaths give U.K., France a tragic jolt on long-simmering border disputeIn the wake of one of the deadliest incidents to unfold off their shores in recent years, British and French leaders vow to ramp up efforts to put a stop to the migrant crossings. 👪 💛 Super Hero ⬇️ ⤵️

France to announce COVID-19 booster shots for all adults - mediaFrance is expected to announce that COVID-19 booster shots will be made available to all adults as well as stricter rules on wearing face masks and more stringent health pass checks to curb a new wave of infections, French media reported.