Britain ‘offers to help fund asylum reception centres in France’ as part of £54million deal to crackdown on record Channel migrant surge
- Home Office is reportedly in talks with France to fund migrant reception centres
- They would provide accommodation, medical aid and asylum application advice
- Plan forms part of UK’s £54m deal with France to crackdown on migrant surge
The UK will help fund a series of reception centres in France that will provide accommodation and support for migrants attempting to cross the channel.
Reports suggest the plan forms part of the £54million aid package the Government has promised France to stem the number of small migrant boats reaching the UK.
The Home Office is negotiating with French authorities to help fund the reception centres which will house migrants intercepted before they make the crossing, according to the Telegraph.
The newspaper reports that the centres will enable the French authorities to move migrants away from the coast and allow them to apply for asylum in France or other ‘safe’ European countries.
A Home Office source told the Telegraph: ‘The investment in those centres across France would be dedicated support to migrants and possibly voluntary returns to countries of origin where appropriate.
The UK is set to help fund reception centres for migrants heading for channel crossings in France in a bid to move them away from the coast and help them seek asylum in Europe
‘It will include accommodation, medical advice and guidance on asylum applications so that they have an alternative to crossing [the Channel].
‘The further away from northern France, the more chance there is of changing their behaviour and decisions.’
The plan is similar to a scheme that was tested last year when the use of reception centres was found to be affective.
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, told MPs: ‘As anybody knows who’s travelled to France it’s a perfectly civilised country, it has a fully functioning asylum system and what we find is when we deliver the migrants to the reception centres they do in fact claim asylum in France.’
Mr O’Mahoney said that when migrants weren’t moved far enough away from the coast, they were then just ‘recycled back into the population in Calais’.
Earlier this month, Home Secretary Priti Patel threatened to cancel the £54million promised to France to block migrant crossings because boat-after-boat continues to land in Kent every day.
Priti Patel threatened to cancel the £54million promised to France to block migrant crossings
The Home Secretary met Conservative MPs last week and blamed the French for the significant number of people coming across the Channel, claiming she was prepared to pull the funding that was pledged less than two months ago if they do not stop three in four crossings by the end of the month.
The Home Secretary has threatened to ‘push back’ migrant boats from the English coast – insisting Britons expect action amid mounting fury at France’s lacklustre efforts to curb the problem despite being handed millions by UK taxpayers to do so.
Ms Patel also came under fire from experts who said her latest plan is ‘not going to happen’ because overloaded dinghies might sink and France would need to cooperate.