European migration policy and the rise of populism
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Increased surveillance along the Channel in response to rising numbers of migrant crossings
In a press release from the 24th of January, the French Ministry of the Interior announced that a joint action plan had been signed with the United Kingdom to tackle illegal migrant crossings on the Channel.
The British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, had previously announced that he would reinforce the existing sea patrols to combat the rising numbers of migrants attempting to reach the UK.
The country has seen a sharp rise in attempted crossings recently: 78 recorded in 2018, compared to just 12 in 2017. In addition to strong currents and dangerous tides, maritime authorities are alarmed about the transport conditions facing these migrants. For the very first time, Iranian migrants attempted to reach the English port of Dover by stealing a fishing boat from the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Several associations are blaming this rise on the difficult living conditions and police brutality prevalent in the north of France, and the feeling that it’s a “now or never” moment for migrants in the run-up to Brexit.
This article was originally published in January in the “Veille Europe” of France terre d’asile, available in French HERE. Last updated: February 19, 2019.