NEW Home Secretary Amber Rudd will be facing her first major international encounter when she travels to France to meet French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in Paris to discuss, amongst other things, immigrants who are lodged in France but trying to make their way to the UK.
With the result of the referendum showing that Britain will leave the European Union and the relative chaos and anarchy in the Calais migrant camps which house several thousand people, it is understandable that the French are beginning to take a ‘nimby’ (not in my back yard) stance, and the president of the Calais region said on August 29 that migrants there should be able to present their UK asylum claims in France.
Clearly this is unacceptable to the British authorities but the deal between France and Britain over immigrants of this type is heavily weighted in Britain’s favour with the majority of the problems being faced by the French who have to cope with those who make it to the Calais camps.
In theory, there is a very simple solution to the problem as EU rules call for those who arrive in the Union to claim asylum in their first country of arrival but in many cases this should be Greece or Italy, both of whom are suffering from the number of immigrants they have to cope with already.
The problem at the moment, however, is that the majority of those who arrive in Calais want to register their asylum claim with the UK as they believe that they will receive better treatment there than in any other country within the Union, and of course Britain just doesn’t want any additional claimants unless they can prove that they already have family legally settled in the UK.
The British government relies on the fact that in the past the French have indicated that they would not look to change the border controls that are currently in place, but those statements were made when Britain was a member of the ‘European Club’ but now, things could easily change and the Home Secretary can expect a difficult meeting.