French minister calls on UK to fulfil promises over migrant crossings cash

Not a single penny of the £ 54 million the UK had promised France to handle migrant border crossings was paid, a French minister claimed when urging the UK government to keep its promises.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said after a visit to Dunkirk on Saturday that “no euro was paid”.

Earlier this year the government pledged to send millions of pounds to aid French efforts to stop the crossings.

However, Home Secretary Priti Patel recently threatened to withhold funding unless more people were prevented from reaching the UK.

According to the PA news agency, more than 17,000 people on board small boats managed to make the dangerous journey across the Strait of Dover in 2021.

“At the moment no euro has been paid,” Darmanin told the Associated Press.

“We urge the British to keep their funding promises because we are holding the limit for them.”

He also called on the UK to take steps to reduce its “attractiveness” to undocumented migrants, without going into detail.

“We speak of people. There are children, babies, who take these boats that risk their lives. There are people who die in the canal. I do not consider them hostage to political debate, ”he said.

Meanwhile, on Saturday in Dover, dozens of people were brought ashore by Border Force after making the dangerous canal crossing.

A woman was seen leading a small child in front of her as the two were led up a gangway by a border guard.

It came after a large number of people managed to reach the UK on Friday.

The Home Office has not yet released numbers for Friday or Saturday arrivals.

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