BRUSSELS, Nov 29 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The European Commission recalled this Monday that the agreement that governs relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom does not include cooperation in asylum and returns of migrants in the middle of the migration crisis in the English Channel.
This is how Brussels has expressed itself after the episode in which 27 people died when the boat in which they were trying to reach the British coast capsized and after France has demanded that the United Kingdom assume its responsibility in the crisis and allow legal migration to the islands.
At a press conference, the Commission’s Migration spokesman, Adalbert Jahnz, has argued that the agreement for relations between London and Brussels does not include measures for the return of migrants. “On cooperation with the United Kingdom, there is practical cooperation with the Belgian and French coastguards to prevent illegal crossings in the Canal,” he said.
Jahnz has stressed community support for the platform led by France to increase security in the Canal and has avoided commenting on a possible deployment of Frontex in the area to alleviate the situation, as announced by the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.
France and the United Kingdom are experiencing a pulse for migration management in the Canal and Paris has demanded that London open a legal way for refugees to reach the country, as well as measures so that refugees cannot work in the underground economy.
This comes after the summit that France held with the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission to address the issue of the migration crisis. At the meeting, they agreed to toughen measures against human trafficking mafias operating in the area.
FISHERIES NEGOTIATIONS “BY DECEMBER 10”
The migration issue is another element of tension between the French and British executives whose central dispute is the fisheries issue. After Darmanin pointed out that December 10 is the deadline to reach an agreement with London on permits to fish in the English Channel, the Community Executive has avoided marking red lines.
In this sense, the Commission’s Fisheries spokesperson, Vivian Loonela, has indicated that Brussels will intensify the talks to conclude the process “by December 10”.
“That is the date with which we work and we are involved in the conversations to find a solution for that date,” he indicated, without wanting to enter ultimatums. The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, has threatened to end the negotiations if there is no agreement by then.
In any case, Brussels has avoided speculating on this option, which could leave French vessels operating in the waters of the English Channel without a license.
The Government of Emmanuel Macron put on the table a battery of possible sanctions, including a ban on berthing British boats, in response to the reduction of permits granted to French fishermen.
Meanwhile, the British minister for Brexit, David Frost, has already said that his country is “actively” contemplating the launch of the mechanism for the resolution of disputes stipulated in the EU exit agreements to solve the current dispute over fisheries.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.