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Montevideo, February 8th 2023 - 09:51 UTC



UK/EU Brexit talks now include the unwanted migrants crossing the English channel

Friday, August 21st 2020 - 08:30 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The agenda for this week's EU-UK talks on their future relationship, did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has pressed for a deal The agenda for this week's EU-UK talks on their future relationship, did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has pressed for a deal

The European Union has so far rebuffed British calls for talks on a deal to allow London to send unwanted migrants back to Europe from 2021, and could use the issue as potential leverage in wider Brexit negotiations, diplomats and officials said.

The agenda for this week's EU-UK talks on their future relationship after a post-Brexit transition period runs out at the end of 2020 did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has long pressed for such a deal.

Brussels diplomats and officials following discussions on Britain's departure from the bloc said EU was playing hard to get, believing an agreement on migrants was more important to Britain than the bloc's 27 member states.

Hundreds of people, including some children, have tried to cross the English Channel to southern England from makeshift camps in northern France this month - many navigating one of the world's busiest shipping routes in overloaded rubber dinghies.

Britain's Home Office said this week the uptick in the numbers attempting the perilous crossing was frustrating.

”That is why the (government) is committed ... to ensuring we have legislation ready following the end of the transition period,“ it said. ”This legislation will build on our continuing work with the French government to stop these crossings.“

Britain wants to be able to ship such migrants back to France or Belgium, where they embarked.

But without a new deal with the EU, once its current arrangements with the bloc end it would be obliged under international humanitarian law to take responsibility for anyone landing on its coast, being fished from the water by its ships or brought to its ports by other vessels.

Unlike with Turkey, where the EU needed a migration pact to ensure Ankara keeps on its soil the millions of Middle Eastern refugees it hosts - the 27 EU countries are in no rush.

”The UK has interest in this. We can wait,“ said an EU diplomat dealing with migration. ”The 27 are not that worried. Of that, 25 do not really care at all. France and Belgium can be to some extent preoccupied, but far less than the UK is.”

Authorities on Wednesday found a dead Sudanese boy on a beach in northern France, as Paris and London said they would shut down the migrant route across the Channel.

Sources in Brussels hope a final Brexit agreement will be ready for an Oct 15 to Oct16 EU leaders' summit, allowing time for ratification by year-end, though some have warned it might come later.

EU sources said migration would not ultimately be a deal maker or breaker in the negotiations, where fisheries and state aid arrangements are the biggest lingering hurdles.

The UN migration agency expressed concern this week about Britain's plans to deploy its navy to intercept people and return them to mainland Europe.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Pugol-H

    “Refugees” are required to claim asylum in the first free country they reach.

    These are “economic migrants”, who have travelled right across Europe to try and enter the UK illegally.

    The “Expats” are in Spain by consent of the Spanish Gov, indeed encouraged by them.

    The problem will go away in the next few weeks, as the weather in the channel gets worse with the onset of winter.

    Soon anyone attempting it, almost certainly will not make it, they have already had a dead child wash up on a French beach, along with the dead dolphins.

    After Brexit the UK will probably adopt an Australian style system, you wait offshore somewhere until your claim is processed and if rejected until deportation.

    Whatever else you say about it, it “stopped the boats” to Australia, people are no longer drowning in large numbers trying to cross the Timor Sea.

    Aug 23rd, 2020 - 04:15 pm +1
  • Jack Bauer


    It is clear that the idiot who calls himself Pytangua hasn't a clue to what he's talking about.....can't even tell the diifference between “expats” (who enter Spain legally) and illegal immigrants (who cross the Channel in 'rubber dinghies', to sneak into the UK).

    He tries to compares what cannot be compared, twist the facts to suit his ignorance and socialist bias, so I wouldn't worry about him....he's just another F*ckwitt, with a fixation on “inflatables”.

    Aug 30th, 2020 - 09:17 pm 0
  • Pytangua

    So Brits living in Spain (and usually speaking no Spanish) are referred to an 'expats“ while refugees fleeing from the mayhem and havoc caused by 'our heroes' who invaded Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan are denounced as 'illegal migrants' It's the usual hypocrisy from the London elite supported by millions of muffins who cannot see beyond Love Island and Naked Attraction. And when the Sun calls this 'an invasion' they do not stir, not even who Johnson casually announces that ”up to three million” (!) Hong Kong citizens will be granted UK right of abode in UK. What a shower!

    Aug 21st, 2020 - 04:43 pm -4
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