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Oui Monsieur, Mais Bien Sûr

By Patrick Van Roy On August 9th, 2020

Guest post Paul

The British are apparently to ‘demand’ the French curtail dinghies of asylum seekers / immigrants crossing La Manche from France and landing on the Kent coast to claim asylum.

 

Can someone explain exactly how this is supposed to work? The British are party to the UN 1951 Refugee Convention and since leaving the EU the Dublin Regulation, a EU law that determines which EU Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum, no longer applies to Britain, (and certainly not after the transition period finishes in January). This really is a tricky one, British sea vessels can’t enter French national waters without prior authorisation from the French authorities so returning them to France seems to out of the question. 

Now, while there is a bilateral agreement between the UK and France for ‘juxtaposed controls’ and French and British police to maintain immigration & border controls in each  respective national territory via the Treaty of Le Touquet this only extends to sea ports: 

ARTICLE 3 

The terms “Control Zone”, “Restricted Zone” and “Sea Port” have the same meanings as in the Treaty. A reference to a “Sea Port” means a Sea Port designated under Article 1(3) of the Treaty and a reference to a “Control Zone” or a “Restricted Zone” means a Control Zone or a Restricted Zone established or modified under that Article, except that a reference to any of these terms is a reference solely to Control Zones or Sea Ports on French territory

Agreement

Two interesting Brexit related issues that the dilemma exposes is the myth of non EU related immigration being fused with the right of free movement within the EU prior to the referendum. It was constantly explained to Brexiteers here that non EU immigration to Britain was solely within the competences of the UK government and had absolutely nothing to do with the EU, this demonstrates that to be true. Another is the central Brexiteer doctrine of ‘taking back control’. ‘Demanding’ an EU nation control your maritime borders doesn’t seem like ‘taking back control’ at all.

50 Responses to “Oui Monsieur, Mais Bien Sûr”

  1. Thank you for your generous hospitality as always, Pat.

  2. no problem

  3. oh, F the French

  4. I was waiting for it….

  5. It was constantly explained to Brexiteers here that non EU immigration to Britain was solely within the competences of the UK government and had absolutely nothing to do with the EU,

    As manifest an inaccurate summation of the current situation as is possible.

    But par for the course on here.

  6. The UK has a legitimate beef with French inaction/action on this issue. What remedies they have is another thing.

  7. As manifest an inaccurate summation of the current situation as is possible

    Rubbish. Are you trying to suggest that the decision as to if these people recieve asylum status in the UK rests with the EU? If so please explain how.

    The UK has a legitimate beef with French inaction/action on this issue.

    Unless the UK border starts east of the Channel I don’t see how it does.

  8. If France is aiding and abetting this migration through deliberate lack of enforcement the UK certainly has a right to object to that behavior.

  9. ‘Aiding & abetting?’

    France has no obligation in using French resources to combat what is ultimately a British immigration problem.

  10. It doesn’t do the French any good to enable migrant crossings of the Channel because it then makes migrants target Calais as a launching point, increasing illegal migration into France itself. Not that a Frenchman would ignore their national history of short term gain for log term loss.

  11. France isn’t ‘enabaling immigrant crossings’

    You expect the French to use French resources in order to combat asylum seeker / immigrants from leaving France in order to solve an ultimately British immigration problem.

    If Brexit was about the Brits putting themselves first should the French not do the same?

  12. Yes. France should not permit its shores to be used to facilitate illegal migration into the UK. International cooperation is necessary to stem the flow much as France seeks cooperation from Italy in stemming the flow of migrants from Italy into France. There is no benefit to not cooperating in areas simply because of changed circumstances.

  13. The difference of ciurse is that Italy & France are members of the EU while the UK isn’t.

    If the UK want international cooperation in in a UK immigration problem then they should pay for it and not expect the French to use French resources in containing a British problem.

    These kind of instances were of course spoken about at length both prior and post Brexit referendum.

  14. Apparently the UK is negotiating to help pay for it. It isn’t merely a UK problem.
    And the removal of Brexit doesn’t mean the UK and France are at war or can’t cooperate on International Issues. In addition, this migration issue predates Brexit.

  15. BTW, arriving in a country and claiming asylum isn’t ‘illegal immigration’ either.

  16. This migration issue predates Brexit

    Yes, when France were expected to contain the British immigration problem.

    Circumstances have changed.

  17. It isn’t merely a UK problem

    Immigrants / asylem seekers wanting to go to the UK isn’t merely a UK problem?

    I think it is.

  18. Migrants flock to French Calais (where they mostly remain) and become a French migration problem. Reduce the ability to get to the UK and you reduce the numbers in France itself (a national problem for the French as they themselves have stated).

  19. Nope.

    Use French resources to police a British immigration problem and they will still come.

    Economic immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers after horrific and immensely dangerous journeys often escaping from hellish situations aren’t easily dissuaded by such rules.

  20. Paul – You seem focused as ever on an anti-UK position whenever possible. I suppose it is the habit of a lifetime. However, illegal immigration is a problem not merely for the UK but for Europe as a whole, which includes France. France relies on cooperation with the UK on a number of issues (even post Brexit). Increased French cooperation will help ease the specific issue of migrants making dangerous journies across the channel and help combat international smuggling of migrants, a goal to which France has committed itself. A laxity in enforcement leads to increased immigrants taking the risks to which you refer.

  21. I was wondering how long it would take for my supposed anti Britishness to be introduced into the equation 🙂

    What I am stating here is the apparent fruition of issues that were predicted well before the Brexit referendum (and not only in immigration / asylum either), and the cakeism of Brexit entitlement seemingly being advocated here is pretty brass necked. The Brits wanted Brexit, they wanted to go it alone and put themselves first and take back control. They got it and all those things that they wanted which means that if they want Fench cooperation in combatting a British immigration problem then they’ll have to pay for the resources used for it and not expect the French to stump up.

    Economic migrants/ Asylum seekers / refugees typically travel thousands of miles over land and sea in incredibly dangerous journeys to escape hellish situations and what you’re suggesting won’t stop them coming but will only abdicate the responsibility of Britain protecting its shores and shift it to the French, making it a French problem.

  22. It was present before you typed one letter.

    The migrants try to go where they may get into the best situation. If there is lax enforcement they congregate there.

    The Brits wanted out of the EU, not out of international cooperation on a variety of issues. You keep calling it a British immigration problem, but it is an international problem. Asking the French to hold up their end is perfectly reasonable. France should prevent dangerous voyages by small ships, usually by smugglers from departing from their shores. Same as they should bar drug shipments from departing France for elsewhere.

  23. Not out of international cooperation on a variety of issues

    Yes, and this ‘variety of issues’ was spoken about at length here and how Brexit would affect them. If the Brits want resources used on this then they can pay for them.

    The French don’t have ‘their end’ to hold up. How do they stop economic immigrants / refugees/ asylum seekers from a third country leaving their jurisdiction?

    These people want to go to Britain. That’s a Brit problem and not a French one.

  24. Wow, so many wrong and misleading statements in one piece.

    France must abide by the Dublin Regulation. If is it unwilling to return illegals back to wherever in the EU they crossed from into France then they must be processed in France.

    The UK has given France tens of millions of Pounds to clamp down on the trafficking. It pocketed the money and still does nothing.

    What this has to do with Brexit is a mystery. It’s always been a bilateral Anglo-French issue.

    No-one is demanding that France control British borders. The demand is that France controls its own border.

  25. France must abide by the Dublin Regulation. If is it unwilling to return illegals back to wherever in the EU they crossed from into France then they must be processed in France

    Only within the EU and not non EU countries. It’s also not illegal to arrive in a country and claim asylum.

    The UK has given France tens of millions of Pounds to clamp down on the trafficking. It pocketed the money and still does nothing

    No it has, hence the ‘juxtaposed controls’ in the piece above.

    What this has to do with Brexit is a mystery. It’s always been a bilateral Anglo-French issue

    See the reference to Le Touquet

    The demand is that France controls its own border

    They are leaving French jurisdiction and the French are under no obligation. legal or otherwise, to insist on them staying.

  26. The French have no authority to prevent boats from departing their territory with human contraband? Of course they do.

  27. That ‘human contraband’ are people who want to reach the UK and claim asylum. What authority do the French have preventing them departing their territory and how should they enforce it?

  28. That ‘human contraband’ are people who want to reach the UK and claim asylum.

    They are obliged by international law to do so in France. France is obliged to process them. The English Channel is the world’s busiest shipping lane. France cannot allow crews of unwary boats and ships to be put in danger by allowing human smugglers to carry on.

    People like you are responsible for thousands of deaths in the Med and the Channel.

  29. They are obliged by international law to do so in France. France is obliged to process them

    Legislation please.

    France cannot allow crews of unwary boats and ships to be put in danger by allowing human smugglers to carry on.

    That’s perhaps why the French Navy patrol it?

  30. The French have a number of national laws, European laws and international treaties that authorize the prevention of human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. They have enforced it by arresting smugglers and organized crime figures responsible for same and can seize such vessels and prevent the transportation of such vessels in their own waters. They have done so in coordination with many nations as well as United Nations and and through international treaties.

  31. Yes, of course the problems arise when the ‘human contraband’ deny they’re being trafficked as they actually want to get to the UK?

    As I said, how would you suggest that the French enforce the alleged authority they have to stop asylum seekers leaving their jurisdiction?

  32. Legislation please.

    The Dublin Regulation. One of its explicit intentions is to prevent asylum shopping.

  33. Dublin Regulation is EU specific and won’t apply to the UK, certainly not in five months.

  34. Paul – France has the power to arrest those engaged in human trafficking under their own penal law. They can seize the means of doing so (boats,vessels,planes,trucks etc). If you think that any nation doesn’t have the legal authority to stop criminal activity originating from its territory because the contraband (be it human or something else) is destined for elsewhere then you lack a fundamental understanding of national and international law.

  35. But they’re not doing it regardless of whatever instruments may or may not be available so as I say, how do you suggest France enforce the alleged authority that they have over asylum seekers leaving their jurisdiction?

    Put them on a rogue nation list?

  36. Paul – France has been prosecuting criminals engaged in this type of human smuggling. You keep saying alleged authority, do you deny they have the authority to do so?
    The issue is not that they are doing nothing, just that they can do better.

    France can also adjudicate the merits of an asylum seekers claim.

  37. Do you deny they have the authority to do so?

    I’d be astonished that they had the authority to stop asylum seekers leaving their jurisdiction but regarding the criminal angle, suspicion of crime and proof of crime are two different beasts as I’m sure you know.

    I suspect that France sees it as a British problem, and rightly so.

  38. Always nice to astonish someone, but a coastal nation has the right to regulate departures of vessels from its shores. And the departure of migrants is also something a nation can regulate, hence the absence of chartered flights from Paris to London by asylum seekers.

    France sees illegal migration as an international problem, the illegal migration into the UK being a part of the bigger picture. That is why there has been some cooperation on this issue.

  39. Mahons, you’re suggesting that the French use criminal justice instruments in order to address an immigration / asylum / refugee problem, (entering a country to claim asylum isn’t illegal). The French obviously disagree with your analysis so I’d hold back on the self congratulations just yet.

    France does see illegal migration as an international problem but I suspect that it also sees that the UK is attempting to transfer responsibility of those seeking asylum / ref status/ economic migration in the UK to make it a French problem.

    And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.

  40. No Paul, the French agree with me which is why they have arrested and prosecuted those who seek to smuggle migrants. That is a criminal and human rights matter, not a simple asylum matter (but I don’t give myself congratulations for stating the obvious to the oblivious).
    The UK isn’t asking France to take responsibility upon itself but to cooperate in what is a joint issue.

  41. Which is why they have arrested and prosecuted those who seek to smuggle migrants

    You are trying to converge the general issue of people trafficking with French approach to refugees crossing the Channel. This is what the French have done:

    The French authorities said they had also rescued migrants from several kayaks in their own waters as they headed for the UK.

    A helicopter was used in the response that saw at least 23 people intercepted and brought back to France.

    If you believe Nigel Farage the French Navy shadow the dinghies until they’re out of French waters and according to the linked article above they are ‘shepherding them to the UK’

    As I said, if the British want French resources spent on this they’ll have to step up.

  42. The issues are intertwined. I think it only fair that the UK contribute to France’s efforts (and they have done so).

  43. Unchecked illegal migration is a disaster with dangers to the migrants themselves, and to the native populations. Governments should cooperate as much as possible to curtail it.

  44. What are the penalties for British or French who are involved in this trafficking

  45. The issues are intertwined. I think it only fair that the UK contribute to France’s efforts (and they have done so).

    Well the Brits have paid tens of millions for the French to police the ports of Calais & Dunkirk a le Touquet above but if you’re saying the the Brits should financially contribute in a partnership to combat these more recent developments instead of trying to push it solely onto the French then that’s a sound enough comment.

  46. I’d not hesitate to say that Seimi’s your man to explain exactly what the legal framework is/should be, and how it works/should work. But all of that seems irrelevant while we’re living in an Alice-in-wonderland regime where “laws mean what we want them to mean, and will be applied to those whom we want them to be applied”. Seems to me that if a law is in agreement with the globalist plan then no matter how vaguely worded it is, it will be applied faster than a starting pistol, whereas even if there were ten thousand laws on the statute books forbidding all illegal immigration and demanding instant capital punishment without trial for anyone aiding and abetting it, no problem! – up would pop Spider Lady of Blair’s ‘supreme court’ (created for this very purpose) and declare them all ‘unconstitutional’ at a stroke. That seems to me to be where we are at these days, and until that changes, what do laws matter?

  47. Yes, that is what I am saying Paul.

  48. Brexi, I don’t think Seimi’s commented on this thread….

    Point taken and agreed, Mahons.

  49. As flattered as I am to be the go-to person regarding the legalities of this situation, Brexitannia, I believe it is actually Seamus who could give you the best advice 🙂

  50. Brexi, I don’t think Seimi’s commented on this thread….

    Think again, young Paul 😉