UK does not cooperate sufficiently over small boat crossings, says French body

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dungeness, Kent, from an RNLI lifeboat after a small boat incident in the Channel. The UK is not coordinating sufficiently with France to reduce the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats or providing enough detailed information, French state auditors have said. The cour des comptes , an independent French body that examines the use of public funds, has published a report on the efficiency of French policy on illegal migration, in which it said France was “struggling to develop operational cooperation arrangements” with its neighbours, including the UK. The report refers in particular to a joint UK-French intelligence unit created in 2020 to tackle human smuggling and reduce the number of people risking their lives to cross the Channel. In 2022, it helped dismantle seven illegal migration networks. But despite promises by French and UK ministers in 2022 to improve joint work against criminal networks, the auditors 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”. The report said in terms of people arriving by small boat, information on details such as “references or serial numbers of boats and motors, [and people’s] nationalities”, appeared to be “very patchy”. It added: “The relationship between France and the UK is therefore unbalanced in terms of information and intelligence exchange.” A UK Home Office spokesperson said: “This report is based on out-of-date information and does not accurately reflect our current working relationship, including intelligence sharing, with France. In the last two years, we have taken more robust action alongside them to crack down on vile people-smuggling gangs and stop the boats.” They added: “We continue to work closely with French partners at […]

See also  Growing bipartisan opposition to US Steel purchase by Japanese might not be enough to block deal

Click here to visit source. UK does not cooperate sufficiently over small boat crossings, says French body

By Donato