Western Europe

France rejects joint patrols with UK to fight illegal immigrants

11:26, 03 December 2021
France rejects joint patrols with UK to fight illegal immigrants Photo: Global Look Press/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alex Edelman

French Prime Minister Jean Castex rejected in a letter to his British counterpart Boris Johnson the UK's initiative to introduce joint patrols to combat illegal migrants who are trying to cross the English Channel, Agence France-Presse reported.

"France is ready to pursue our operational cooperation with the United Kingdom. We cannot accept it. British police or military patrol on our coast. It's a matter of our sovereignty," Castex said in a statement.

He added that the French side is always ready to discuss various offers from Great Britain related to strengthening cooperation.

British PM Boris Johnson last week suggested a joint coast patrol in a letter he sent to French President Emmanuel Macron after 31 migrants lost their lives in the Channel as they tried to reach British shores.

President of France Emmanuel Macron has criticized British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for holding communication on the migrant issue via Twitter and public letters. 

Macron assured that he was determined to keep cooperating on the issue with his British partners but only if they do it "seriously".

Earlier, the French satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné unveiled that the President of France has also accused the British Prime Minister of having “an attitude of a good-for-nothing” man.

According to France’s statistics, around 31,500 migrants have left the French coast in 2021 so far while 7,800 of them have been saved. London confirms the data adding that about 22,000 migrants have successfully reached their destination, predominantly the city of Dover.