French officials demand UK crack down on UK charities helping migrants planning to cross the Channel
- Charities were accused of ‘frustrating’ attempts to intercept Channel migrants
- Authorities in France have called for urgent measures to curtail their activities
- The French added that charities helped migrants on their journeys to the UK
French officials have demanded a crackdown on British charities they accuse of ‘constantly frustrating’ attempts to intercept Channel migrants.
Authorities in northern France have raised concerns about UK-funded organizations and handed over a dossier of evidence to British counterparts, the Mail understands.
They have also called for urgent measures to curtail the activities of the charities, a diplomatic source said.
In some cases, the French accuse charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of helping migrants travel to the UK.
Several hundred migrants are believed to have crossed the Channel yesterday, after Sunday was the highest number of arrivals so far this year with 442.
For example, volunteers are said to have acted as ‘spotters’ on the French coast to divert migrants away from beach patrols so they can launch dinghies without being intercepted.
“The French have expressed great concern to our government about British NGOs in northern France,” the source said.
‘They are extremely p***** off. There is ongoing frustration with the process of stopping the illegal immigration of migrants departing from northern France.
British officials reportedly told their French counterparts they would support any decision to deny entry to charity workers they believe have broken the law
In some cases, the French accuse charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of helping migrants travel to the UK
“The French handed over evidence and said ‘Please stop it’. But the UK can only do so much, because this is happening on French soil.’
British officials reportedly told their French counterparts that they would support any decision to deny entry to charity workers they believe have broken the law.
‘But I don’t think they’re ready. It is a “watching briefing,” the source said, adding that at least seven groups are “constantly monitored” for fear they may be breaking the law.
The Charity Commission launched a legal inquiry into a UK migrant charity, Care4Calais, in August 2021. The conclusions have yet to be published.
Pictured: A migrant who arrived without footwear stands on slippers donated by a volunteer from refugee crisis charity Care4Calais
At the time, the watchdog said it was looking at “whether there was any mismanagement and/or misconduct in the charity’s administration by the trustees,” as well as financial controls and other issues. The research does not cover the actions of volunteers in helping migrants.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin previously accused British charities of obstructing efforts to stop Channel migrants.
He turned his fire on British aid workers in 2021, saying that “the NGOs preventing the police and gendarmerie from working are largely British NGOs with British citizens who are on French soil.”
In November Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced a £63 million deal with France to fight the Channel crisis
Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais, one of the main UK groups working with Channel migrants, rejected the claims, saying at the time that her charity existed ‘solely to provide humanitarian aid’.
In November Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced a £63 million deal with France to fight the Channel crisis.
She described it as a “great step forward” and said the settlement with Emmanuel Macron’s government will see British taxpayers foot the bill for a range of anti-trafficking measures in France.
Volunteers allegedly acted as ‘spotters’ on the French coast to divert migrants away from beach patrols so they can launch dinghies without being intercepted
UK Border Force officers have already been deployed as ‘observers’ approaching French beaches, working alongside gendarmes for the first time, as well as in French nerve centers fighting the smugglers. The number of gendarmes on beach patrols will also increase by 40 percent to 350 by April.
Several hundred migrants are believed to have crossed the Channel yesterday, following Sunday’s highest number of arrivals so far this year with 442.