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Priti Patel to rage at France in frosty showdown after 23,500 migrant crossings | Politics | News

The Home Secretary will hold a crisis meeting with interior minister Gerald Darmanin to demand he does more to stop small boats. A record 1,185 migrants reached the UK in a day last week with France failing to stop the overwhelming majority of attempts to cross the Dover Strait.

The number of crossings has risen sharply in recent weeks and shows no sign of dropping off any time soon.

On Thursday, France stopped just 99 migrants out of the 1,284 who were looking to make the treacherous journey in small boats.

The low number of police interceptions comes despite a French pledge to stop 100 percent of crossings.

Dan O’Mahoney, the clandestine Channel threat commander, said it was vital that the Paris government outlined how they intended to meet their commitment.

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“We look forward to working with the French to understand how they’re going to do that,” he told The Telegraph.

“We’re nowhere near 100 percent and we need to work much harder.

“We need to continue to work with the French by sharing technology, intelligence and getting the boots on the ground in the right place.

“But the numbers speak for themselves.

“We’re falling well short of 100 percent at the moment.”

The French have been accused of deliberately failing to stop small boats.

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Ms Patel has previously told Paris if it cannot honour its pledge to stop Channel crossings the UK will withhold its financial support.

Earlier this year the UK agreed to an extra £54million in funding to help with extra police patrols and surveillance.

The UK has handed over the first instalment of the money but has warned it will not hesitate to stop future payments unless France cooperates.

So far in 2021 more than 23,500 migrants have reached the UK by crossing the Channel.

The total is almost three times the total of 8,417 last year.

Last week three people are thought to have died attempting to make the dangerous journey after two kayaks were found at sea.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.”

They added the number of crossings was “unacceptable”.

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