The UK is not cooperating enough to curb migrant crossings, a French report says

A French report says the United Kingdom is not sufficiently coordinating with France in efforts to reduce the number of migrants illegally crossing the English Channel in small boats FILE – People thought to be migrants who undertook the crossing from France in small boats and were picked up in the Channel, arrive to be disembarked from a small transfer boat which ferried them from a larg… PARIS — The United Kingdom is not sufficiently coordinating with France in efforts to reduce the number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, according to a French report that points to the “uncertain effectiveness” of illegal migration policies. France is “struggling to develop operational cooperation arrangements” with the U.K., according to the report published Thursday by France’s Court of Accounts, a body in charge of auditing the use of public funds, independent from the government and parliament. The report refers in particular to a joint intelligence unit created in 2020 to fight human smuggling and reduce the number of people risking their lives to cross the Channel illegally. In 2022, it helped dismantle seven illegal migration networks. The Court “found that the British don’t provide usable information on the departures of small boats, and give very general, first-level information that has not been counter-checked.” Information on the circumstances in which migrants arrive and their nationalities and on boats “appears to be very patchy,” the report said. “The relationship between France and the UK is therefore unbalanced in terms of information and intelligence exchange.” The U.K. Defense Ministry estimated that crossings of the English Channel by boat increased by at least 58% between 2021 and 2022, a year that saw over 45,000 migrants arrested on British shores. The report said 56% of crossing attempts were prevented that same year — […]

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