London- The political and diplomatic repercussions of the sinking of a migrant boat in the English Channel, which left 27 deaths, including 7 women and 3 children, continues, in the worst outcome in the sea channel between France and Britain.
According to security data, the majority of the victims are Iraqis, Kurds and Iranians who set off from the French port of Calais, trying to reach the British port of Dover, despite bad weather that did not prevent the number of migrant boats coming to Britain from rising three times compared to the same period last year.
The tragedy of the sinking of the boat reveals the political aspect of the migrant file between Britain and France, and how it turned into a pressure card between the two parties.
Immediately after this tragic accident, London and Paris exchanged accusations of responsibility for the accident, after a picture spread from the French port of Calais showing a boat of migrants leaving the port in front of the eyes of a French police car that did not intervene to prevent the migrants.
Diplomatic phrases between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron did not succeed in concealing the extent of the differences between the two countries in the matter of dealing with the monitoring of the Maritime Canal, and each official defended his country’s efforts to prevent irregular immigration, blaming the other, for Johnson believes that France “You are not doing enough” to stop the flow of immigration boats to his country, to which Macron responded by accusing Britain of “politicizing the immigration file.”
The conflict of statements moved to the ministers, with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmannan accusing the British labor market of being tempting for irregular immigrants, because it does not put strict laws on workers who do not have legal documents, which motivates immigrants to leave France and reach Britain.
Britain’s exit from the European Union imposed a new reality in the matter of controlling the waters separating Britain and France, because Paris says that it is only responsible for its territorial waters, and when the boat leaves its waters, Britain has no right to return it.
France strongly rejects British offers to send troops and equipment to French waters and the beaches in the Calais region in particular, and Paris justifies this refusal by protecting its sovereignty, and with this justification it responds to Britain, which is strict in preventing French boats from fishing in British waters under the clause “protecting maritime sovereignty.”
Britain offers generous financial offers to France by providing the necessary financial support to tighten control on the beaches, which amounted during this year to 62 million euros with the possibility of raising its value (only the first batch of this amount was delivered), but all these temptations do not motivate the French who see themselves receiving More immigrants from Britain and bear a greater burden in dealing with this file.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel is facing mounting pressure from within the government and the opposition, and she is a fierce advocate of the “Nationality and Borders” law, which sees it as a solution to the refugee and migrant boat crisis, as it includes measures to return boats across the sea.
According to media leaks, Johnson is putting intense pressure on his minister to reduce the number of migrants arriving through the sea channel from France.
And the Minister of the Interior fiercely defends the “Nationality and Borders” law, to give it immunity to the border guards in order to return the boats in the waters and prevent them from reaching Britain, which the Border Guard Union announced its rejection, and threatened to confront the Ministry of the Interior in the judiciary if this law was approved.
The Labor Party joined the opponents of this law, as the shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas Symonds announced that his party would not support the law and would oppose its passage in Parliament.
Among the things that show Britain’s failure to fulfill its obligations in dealing with refugees is its plan to receive refugee children who have lost their parents, as it pledged to receive 3 thousand of these children, but it only received 480 children.
Arabs are the biggest victims
Official figures show that about a third of the immigrants who arrive in Britain via the sea channel from France are Arabs, as 35% of these immigrants are Sudanese, Iraqis and Syrians, then Iranians come in third place with 29%, then immigrants of Eritrean origins by 7%.
The number of asylum seekers in Britain this year reached more than 37,500 applications, the highest rate in 20 years, when applications rose after the Iraq war.
The number of refugees who arrived in Britain by sea reached more than 25,700 refugees, which is three times the number that arrived during the same period last year. This rise in the number of migrants by sea led to the death of 10 people during this year in separate periods.
The British authorities say that these numbers do not show the full picture of the number of refugees arriving in the country, after these people are adopting new ways to enter the country, including escaping through large trucks that leave the port of Calais and reach the port of Dover.