French wont take them! Migration Watch hits out at Macron over UK decision on Rwanda

Migration Watch hits out at Macron over UK decision on Rwanda

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The Chairman of Migration Watch UK has slammed the French Government over Boris Johnson’s plan to send Channel migrants to Rwanda for asylum processing. Alp Mehmet argued that the scheme, which will see a £120 million immigration centre built in Rwanda, was only needed because the Emmanuel Macron will not accept asylum seekers to be returned. 

Mr Mehmet told GB News: “I don’t entirely agree that at the moment because of international treaties and laws, we can’t send people back.

“The reason why they’re not being sent back at the moment to the safe country they’re coming from, and by and large, they’re coming from France, is because the French won’t have them back.

“This is caught up in I think, pre-Brexit arrangements to a large extent and an election coming up there.”

“I don’t think the president wants to be seen as caving into British demands,” he added.

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Last year, more than 28,000 migrants and refugees made the crossing from mainland Europe to Britain.

The arrival of migrants on rickety boats has been a source of tension between France and Britain, especially after 27 migrants drowned when their dinghy deflated in November.

Boris Johnson has announced a plan to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda to be processed in a speech on Thursday in Kent.

The Prime Minister said the number of people crossing the Channel is growing as the people smugglers are becoming “very adept”.

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He told a press conference in Kent: “The numbers were high last year, but this year they’re going to be even higher. There’s no doubt about it.

“I mean, they already are just in the first few months of this year. They are higher than they were over the comparable period last year. They are growing.

“The people smugglers are now becoming very adept. They are getting their boats, these frail, frail things that you will have seen. They are getting them in huge numbers, it looks as though they are being manufactured to order in China.

“They have a whole system going now. And we needed a humane and compassionate way to interrupt their business model.

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“I think the deal we are doing with Rwanda is an essential part of the solution, but it is not the total solution. It is one of several steps that we’re taking to beat the problem.”

He added: “I know there are some who believe we should just turn these boats back at sea, but after much study and consultation, including with Border Force, the police, the National Crime Agency, and military maritime experts… it’s clear that there are extremely limited circumstances when you can safely do this in the English Channel.

“And it doesn’t help that this approach, I don’t think, would be supported by our French partners. Relying solely on this course of action is simply not practical, in my view.”

He said the Government would continue to press France and the EU for the “comprehensive returns agreement that would solve this problem” after making “repeated and generous offers” to France.

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