Macron could solve the Channel crossings crisis in one fell swoop – but he won’t

85,000 sent to UK from France since records began just five years ago – and rising exponentially

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2023

As 2022 numbers top 45,000, Facts4EU asks Macron “Why won’t you simply take them back?”

As the Government lauds its new ‘achievement’ in persuading the French to allow some UK Border Force officers to observe gendarmes on French beaches, Facts4EU.Org presents a simple solution which would cut illegal boat migrant numbers to the bone at a stroke.

Firstly, though, we summarise the numbers.

1. The problem of Macron’s 85,000 boat migrants

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

85,000 illegal migrants crossing the Channel from Macron’s France, 2018-2022

  • 2018 : 299
  • 2019 : 1,843
  • 2020 : 8,466
  • 2021 : 28,526
  • 2022 : 45,573

[Source: UK Home Office and Ministry of Defence official data, accessed on 02 Jan 2023.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

The number in 2022 was 152 times the number in 2018.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

2. UK Border Force could take the migrants back to France, if the French let them

Imagine the scene…

A UK Border Force vessel intercepts a large inflatable boat in the English Channel, carrying 85 illegal migrants. It takes the (mostly) young men on board and sets course for the nearest French beach with a floating pontoon.

The migrants are then disembarked safely onto the jetty and are met by French gendarmes. The UK Border Force Captain gives a cheery wave to the Captaine of the Gendarmerie and with a friendly “A bientot, mes amis!” (‘See you soon, my friends’) he reverses his vessel and heads back to British waters.

Credit: From Twitter

The illegal migrants will have paid thousands of euros to the people smugglers, only to find themselves back on French soil.

Imagine a second scene…

A French vessel from La Direction Centrale de la Police Aux Frontières (French border force) detects a large inflatable full of (mostly) young men who have set off from a French beach in the direction of England.

It takes them on board and heads back to the same floating pontoon used by the UK Border Force just a couple of hours earlier. There the illegal migrants are disembarked and dealt with by the waiting gendarmes.

Once again, the migrants will have paid thousands of euros to people smugglers, only to find themselves back in France.

The illegal migrant Channel crossings crisis – solved in one fell swoop

Within two weeks of implementing this new policy, the word would spread like wildfire in the migrant encampments in northern France and almost all Channel crossings would cease.

President Macron would then declare this a ‘triomphe’ - a French humanitarian action he had taken in order to prevent the loss of lives at sea.


A simple solution, only requiring a "Oui" from President Macron

Facts4EU.Org’s solution above is simple and it would be highly effective. It tackles the problem at its source – in France and at sea. The problem for the UK Government is when migrants land on British soil.

Whether it’s the ECHR preventing the UK Government from deporting illegal migrants to Rwanda, or UK lawyers exploiting Theresa May’s disastrous Human Slavery Act which she rushed through the Commons just before her exit as Prime Minister, or other legal devices, none of this would be relevant if the illegal migrants never made it onto British soil in the first place.

“You can’t do this!” wail the UK’s immigration lawyers

There are of course two groups who would suffer if our two scenarios above became reality.

The people smugglers would mostly go out of business. And the phalanx of UK immigration lawyers who clog up the UK’s legal and immigration system with thousands of claims would have to find alternative sources of employment. Defending those who glue themselves to roads and prevent ambulances getting to hospital, perhaps?

A suggestion for Prime Minister Sunak and all his ministers

Always seeking to be helpful, the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team has a suggestion for the PM and all his ministers. Every time they are asked in interviews about the boat migrant crisis, they should start as follows:-

“Well of course we wouldn’t have this problem at all if President Macron would simply take his illegal migrants back immediately. If UK Border Force vessels simply picked up the boat migrants at sea and were allowed to deposit them back on a jetty in France, the problem would disappear within a couple of weeks.

“The people smugglers would go out of business and none of the ECHR problems would matter because the migrants would never actually land in the UK.”

“You will have to ask President Macron why he won’t take his illegal migrants back, I’m afraid…”

A couple of technical, legal points…

It might be argued by immigration lawyers that if vessels from UK Border Force – or indeed from the RNLI – were to take migrants on board their vessels, the migrants would technically be on British territory. If this were to be the case our solution is simple.

Firstly, immediately increase the number of Border Force vessels (creating more UK shipbuilding jobs) and designate all those in the English Channel as Panamanian-registered boats. Secondly, the RNLI could then go back to their traditional, volunteering role of rescuing seafaring people in genuine need, instead of acting as a surrogate taxi service for the people smugglers.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org – Research, analysis, and solutions.

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[ Sources: UK Home Office | Ministry of Defence ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 03 Jan 2023

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