BBC presenter Ros Atkins has explained how Brexit tensions between the UK and France are playing a role in the current Channel migrant crisis. On Wednesday, 27 people lost their lives as they headed for the UK from France. Mr Atkins told viewers: “Boris Johnson has always said that Brexit would not affect close cooperation with the EU but that is being put to the test.”
This comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel today warned that failure to co-operate on the migrant crisis will lead to “even worse scenes” in the English Channel this winter.
Mr Atkins explained on the BBC: “The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, and this year thousands of people have crossed it to reach the UK.
“We know the number of crossings have gone up sharply. Over 25,000 have made this journey so far this year.
“The UK Government has previously promised to make this route unviable. So far it’s been unable to. And some British MPs think France needs to do more.”
Mr Atkins admitted: “Let’s be clear, France has stopped hundreds of boats but still lots of others have got through.”
He pointed to Natalie Elphicke, a Tory MP who recently said “France has money provided by the British taxpayer.
“They have drones, they have security intelligence.
“They need to get the French police on the beaches to put a stop to these boats leaving the French shores.”
Mr Atkins added: “Priti Patel has previously spoken about Britain turning back the boats. But France says without its cooperation, it is impossible to do anyway.
“Not a single boat has been turned around.”
Today, France is hosting German, Belgian and Dutch ministers and European Commission officials for talks.
Ms Patel was disinvited from the summit after a row between Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.