Illegal migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats threaten to drown themselves or their children in order to keep French ships back
Illegal immigrants from camps on the French coast have been crossing the English Channel in record numbers, with many seemingly being escorted into British territorial waters by French ships rather than intercepted and turned around.
The British government, which has paid the French government millions of pounds to stop migrants from using their country as a launchpad to Britain, has defended this state of affairs on grounds that the French authorities allegedly cannot intercept the migrants request assistance under international law — and that the British authorities, similarly, cannot turn the boats around but must bring them the rest of the way to England to lodge their bogus asylum claims.
Many members of the public are sceptical of these explanations, given the Australians implemented a successful policy of turning back migrant boats years ago — but new reports reveal the French have claimed a new excuse for not intercepting migrants, as the individuals apparently threaten to throw themselves or their children overboard if their ships get too close.
“When rigid-hulled inflatable dinghies are approached by French patrol vessels, the migrants threaten to jump overboard or throw their children into the water to prevent officials from helping them,” reported Richard Ford, home correspondent for The Times, on Thursday.
“The French have little option but to back off and shadow the boats until they are close to a UK Border Force vessel,” he suggested.
It seems clear, however, that migrants behaving in this manner would be committing a variety of crimes under international law and the domestic laws of both Britain and France — and yet neither country has given any indication that it is arresting the illegal migrants crossing to Britain for such acts.
It also remains unclear why the migrants could not, once picked up by the UK Border Force or received on shore, still be sent back to France, as the international conventions against so-called “push-backs” are not legally binding.
Home Secretary Priti Patel is “planning to bring in new laws after Britain leaves the EU to make it easier to return cross-Channel migrants to France."