French MPs accused of misleading migrants into believing UK is easy option

French MPs have been accused of misleading migrants into believing it is easy to live and work illegally in the UK.

MPs in the UK today claimed their French counterparts are spreading ‘misconceptions’ and encouraging migrants to cross the English Channel in search of a better life.

It emerged a record 416 migrants arrived in the UK in small boats yesterday (Wednesday, September 2) though this figure was officially reduced by the Home Office to 409.

Responding to questions from MPs, the Home Office’s new clandestine Channel threat commander Dan O’Mahoney congratulated the French authorities on their efforts to tackle the migrant crisis.

But he pointed out that they were being misled into thinking it would be easy to live in Britain undetected.

Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, raised the issue of a French counterpart who implied the UK was a better option as it was possible to live and work undocumented and illegally.

He said that this is “part of the problem” and that “people are coming here on a false premise.”

Loughton also questioned whether it was true France has declined Britain’s offer of the use of a surveillance plane to step up security and patrol the English Channel.

O’Mahoney confirmed the Home Office is waiting for a response from Paris on whether they want the added resource or not.

He said that while the French “haven’t declined the offer” they “haven’t accepted it either.”

The French do have other aerial surveillance which are deployed over the north of France, “that we have funded,” added O’Mahoney.

More than 5,600 migrants are estimated to have crossed the sea to Britain this year.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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