France previously announced that between January and July, the number of migrants stopped from illegally crossing the English Channel had risen five-fold, compared to the same period in 2019.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration Compliance Chris Philp made an unfortunate mistake, confusing Germany and the UK following talks with his French counterparts.
Philp failed to negotiate a deal between London and Paris concerning migrant boats illegally crossing the Channel, which has become a major issue for the UK. During an interview after the talks, he said “France and Germany” were working together to resolve the issue.
“Can we do that last bit again as I got the French/ German border muddled up with the UK border ?” says, nervously ruffling his hair, UK Immigration Minister Chris Philp in Paris today. (Paris, France, that is 😁)
— Alex Taylor (@AlexTaylorNews) August 11, 2020
The minister immediately corrected himself, saying he meant the United Kingdom and asked if he could start the bit over, seemingly not realising his interview was a live broadcast.
Addressing the situation with the boats, Philp also said he did not rule out increasing the financial contribution to Paris in order to boost French patrols in the area.
On Tuesday, UK Minister of State for Health Edward Argar said that Britain needs greater flexibility to send migrants illegally crossing the Channel back to France. According to British Border Force figures, around 4,000 migrants have already crossed the English Channel from France since the beginning of 2020 – which is more than double the influx of migrants in 2019.