Brexiteer sends Sunak three-point challenge in fury at £480m given to France
Conservatives have called out the Government over plans to reduce Channel crossings after the EU rejected a request to discuss sending migrants back to France.
Tory MP Mark Francois led outraged responses from the party this morning, calling on ministers for “greater clarity” on the situation after the UK crossed the 100,000 arrivals milestone last week.
Anger has boiled over in the last few days, with recent efforts having failed to curb the number of asylum seekers arriving on British shores and plans to house existing populations dashed by harmful conditions.
Speaking on the channel earlier today, the MP for Rayleigh and Wickford called on the Prime Minister to urgently address the situation before Parliament returns in September.
He said Rishi Sunak should make an early statement to the House of Commons and lay out “three things”.
READ MORE: Tory MP demands immediate return of Channel migrants to France in Chinooks
The first clarification Mr Francois wanted was on Government plans “in the interim to stem the flow of boats” and what the UK would get from its half-a-billion pounds paid to France.
The second thing he wanted from Mr Sunak was an explanation of what the country would get if it won a Supreme Court appeal on the Government’s controversial plan to send migrants to Rwanda.
Finally, he called for the PM to “set out the options if we were to lose that case”, including whether ministers planned to legislate a new solution.
Many recent plans and policies brought by the Government have become ensnared in legal challenges and error, with the latest issue being the EU’s opposition to talks on sending people crossing the Channel back to France.
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The Prime Minister agreed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in March to pay £480million over three years to help prevent people from crossing the waterway.
The money was earmarked to finance a new French detention centre for migrants and the deployment of 500 new security and support agents to detect any attempted crossings.
The deal focussed primarily on prevention rather than returning migrants to France, and the EU appears to have poured cold water on this prospect.
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Earlier today it was claimed that a senior EU Commission official told UK national security adviser Sir Tim Barrow that there was no chance of the bloc drawing up a returns deal.
Reports have said that German politician Bjoern Seibert, the head of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s cabinet, made it clear the chamber was not interested in the prospect.
But a spokesman for the Commission rubbished the reports, stating they were “not correct” and that, after checking a source “directly”, they found Mr Seibert “never said that”.
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