Labour Lawmaker Calls For Int'l Cooperation To Prevent Illegal English Channel Crossings

(@FahadShabbir)

Labour Lawmaker Calls for Int'l Cooperation to Prevent Illegal English Channel Crossings

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st July, 2021) UK Labour lawmaker Lisa Nandy on Wednesday called for international cooperation to tackle illegal immigration across the English Channel, as she criticized the UK government for paying money to French authorities to deal with the issue.

"What we really need is a proper plan, international cooperation to make sure that we have safe routes for people to claim things like family reunion, which is part of the reasons people are coming over here," Nandy, who is also the Labour foreign minister in the shadow cabinet, told Sky news broadcaster.

On Tuesday evening, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin agreed to strengthen joint efforts to combat illegal migration across the English Channel, after a rise in the dangerous crossing over the last few days.

As part of the deal, London will pay Paris 54 million ($73.5 million) to deploy more security forces further up the coast, as well as install and use the latest surveillance equipment throughout northern France.

"This is clearly not working. They tried to give money to the French last year to try to disrupt some border crossings, but it didn't work (and) they are doing it again now," Nandy added.

According to the opposition lawmaker, the United Kingdom needs to "get a grip" on the domestic asylum system which makes people sometimes wait for years until their asylum claims are processed, and seeks for coordinated international efforts to deal with international criminal networks.

"We need to go hard after these gangs that make money out of peoples' smuggling, peoples' trafficking and people's misery, and that means international co-operation. You can't just throw money at the problem," she stressed.

UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safeguarding Victoria Atkins defended the deal struck on Tuesday with the French authorities, and claimed that it "would help to control the flow coming over to us."

The Home Office official told Sky News that a similar agreement last year had stopped about 7,500 people from making the perilous trip across the English Channel.

On Monday, at least 430 migrants crossed the Channel, which is a record for one day, while unofficial figures talk of more that 8,000 having reached the UK coasts so far this year.