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Letters: The French must understand that each successful Channel migrant attracts more to France

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SIR - "Every migrant that leaves [French] shores is one less for the French to worry about," writes Gordon Rayner. This is not true.

Every migrant who successfully crosses the Channel encourages another to come into France. By failing to stop them leaving at Calais, the French authorities are ensuring a steady flow of entrants into France. They need to understand this.

Stephen Shipley

Crewkerne, Somerset

SIR - Jean-Marc Puissesseau, the president and chairman of the ports of Calais and Boulogne, said: "We were waiting for something like this to happen". That says it all.

Tony Cross

Sevenoaks, Kent

SIR - If Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are serious about the need for joint action to stop migrants making the perilous journey across the Channel, there is only one sure-fire way of achieving that aim.

France must agree to take back each and every migrant. The traffic would stop overnight. Asylum claims should then be considered on French soil.

Peter Higgins

West Wickham, Kent

SIR - In the troubled regions of the world, entry to Britain is seen as the gold standard for migrants who have the resources to pay criminal gangs. To stop the crisis, to prevent tragedies at sea and to deprive the gangs of their income, we need two things to happen.

First, emergency legislation amending our laws and conventions to allow immediate return to France of all who, irrespective of circumstances, cross the Channel by irregular means. Secondly, agreement from the French to accept them without demur.

Taken together, these measures would remove the pull factor, and the gangs would no longer be able to advertise the success of those who manage to reach Britain. The flow into France of potential migrants to Britain would also cease, to the benefit of our closest neighbour.

William Fleming

Former HM Inspector, UK Immigration Service and Senior Officer, Border Force

Frimley, Surrey

SIR - The Australian government stated a few years ago that it would not allow anyone arriving illegally in small boats to enter Australia. By this strong policy it has saved many lives from being lost at sea.

Ann Willis

Ruislip, Middlesex

SIR - President Macron has continued simply to pay lip service to attempts to control the increasing flow of migrants crossing the Channel.

Instead, he has deliberately used them as pawns in his strategy to exert maximum political pressure on Britain.

He has even been using this strategy to achieve further concessions on fishing licences. Shame on him.

Mike Patterson

Camberley, Surrey

SIR - If France accepted back all migrants who arrive illegally in Britain via Channel crossings, it would make such crossings futile. Who would want to waste their money and risk their lives if they knew they would quickly arrive back where they started?

The simple truth is that France does not want them back and cares not a fig if lives are lost.

That mass illegal immigration also gives Brexit Britain problems is a source of hand-rubbing glee to the heartless, shameless hypocrites who make up the Macron government.

Tom Williams

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

SIR - Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, has accused Boris Johnson of failing to take responsibility over the deaths of people attempting to cross the Channel.

At last she has clarified that none of the following can be blamed for the migrant problem: the regimes of the countries from which they flee; the countries through which they have travelled to reach the Channel; the international community; the criminals who aid and profit from this appalling traffic; the UN Refugee Agency; the voluntary agencies working on these issues; the French government, which allowed these unfortunate people to mass on the border; the local government of Calais; or the French police, who stood by and wished the migrants bon voyage.

I don't see much evidence of Britain acting with anything other than compassion in ensuring safe landing on our shores, where possible. If there were more national and international cooperation, and less mud-slinging, we might be able to find a better solution.

Andrew Hollamby

Christchurch, Dorset

SIR - If we want potential migrants from the Middle East to stay at home, it might make sense to lift sanctions on countries such as Syria and Iran, to improve the living conditions of their inhabitants.

Piers Paul Read

London W12

SIR - The French government must take responsibility for the constant flow of migrants crossing the Channel and the deaths of those that are allowed to leave that safe country in such a dangerous manner.

Its appalling lack of action to prevent these crossings encourages the people-smugglers to carry out their inhumane trade.

But Natacha Bouchart is right to blame Britain in part for this mess. The human rights industry in this country allows lawyers to make repeated, spurious claims under the Human Rights Act, which in turn encourages more illegal migrants to risk their lives.

People smugglers are not alone in making money out of their vile trade. Many in the legal system are also culpable for making huge sums from it.

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, need to sort out this mess quickly.

Stefan Reszczynski

Margate, Kent

SIR - Following this all-too-inevitable tragedy, the French authorities have been quick to arrest some suspected traffickers. What a shame they chose not to act before it occurred.

Stuck in the middle of this unseemly buck-passing between the French and British authorities are innocent and desperate human beings. We must be able to arrive at a better solution.

Richard Packer

Westcott, Surrey

SIR - It is now obvious that the French government is complicit in assisting, arranging or deliberately turning a blind eye to the smuggling of migrants.

Surely it could have identified and infiltrated the smugglers by now. How can 1,000 migrants cross the Channel in a single day without the authorities knowing? A couple of helicopters patrolling the shoreline could easily spot small boats within minutes of them setting off.

I accuse the French government of dumping its own immigration problem on Britain as a reprisal for Brexit. It is about time we challenged the French to tell the truth.

Michael Samson

Worthing, West Sussex

SIR - A British company has recently installed a Marine Domain Management system to cover the Philippines coast. It identifies every boat around every island, however big or small, by fusing boats' automatic identification system, CCTV, radar and satellite feeds.

This system could identify every boatload of people when they were 100 yards from the French coast. Obviously the French government would not want such a sensitive system. However, if the British Government notified the French authorities about every boat, it would be embarrassing if they ignored such information.

Robert Persey

Honiton, Devon

SIR - Is it not illegal under French law for boats to launch from its beaches without a permit? One wonders if it is not the ultimate aim of the French government to goad the British into an act contrary to international treaty, in order to justify allowing its own police to stand by and watch as the traffickers send those poor, desperate people to their deaths. Shame on them.

David Dilly

Brill, Buckinghamshire

SIR - In days gone by, while sailing in French waters, I had to take great care to see that boat insurance was in order and VAT status paperwork was on board, as well as a life raft with an inspection certificate, in-date flares and probably a few other bits of bureaucracy to keep the French customs inspectors happy.

Bennet Westward

Totland Bay, Isle of Wight

SIR - The Good Samaritan did not pass on the other side of the road, but the Royal Yacht Association tells its members to "stand off and report" migrants rather than rescue them, risking their being drowned, because a clause in the Home Office Immigration and Nationalities Bill could result in boat owners being prosecuted or jailed for 14 years.

To me, this proves that Britain is no longer a Christian country. Surely migrants can be taken on board and the RNLI contacted to take them to shore.

In the Second World War, Britons and Germans both rescued survivors from ships that they had torpedoed.

Deirdre Lay

Cranleigh, Surrey

SIR - How can migrants pay the vile people traffickers thousands of pounds to get into a flimsy inflatable boat? Or is it that these poor people are indebted to the criminals and perhaps face a future life of crime, terrorism, slavery or sexual exploitation?

Derek Evans

Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

SIR - Is it not odd that the EU invites immediate help from British troops to prevent a migrant influx into Poland from Belarus, but would rather have cash not to prevent a migrant influx from France to Britain?

Clive Gough

Buckland Common, Hertfordshire

SIR - Politicians across Europe should be ashamed. They have colluded in allowing migration, permitting the breach of their own immigration rules for those entering the EU, and turning a blind eye to people smugglers, for whatever reason suited them. If the smugglers are guilty of manslaughter, then so are they.

Richard Tinn

Malvern, Worcestershire

SIR - Any notion that the deaths of a boat-load of migrants will stem the tide of those keen to cross the Channel is fanciful. More than 25,000 have reached Britain this year, fewer than 50 have perished.

The migrants need merely to survive afloat long enough for Border Force and the RNLI to carry them the rest of the way, assisted by the French authorities turning a blind eye.

With one carefully placed shot, armed French police observing a launch on the beach could render any inflatable useless, yet they seem happy to follow their government's covert policy of passing the problem on to an apparently willing neighbour.

Graham Hoyle

Baildon, West Yorkshire

SIR - I suspect that the French have no intention of slowing down the cross-Channel migrant process, as demonstrated by Wednesday's photo of a police car watching a boat being launched.

Stopping this illegal trade is simple: survey the coast by drone and identify the areas being prepared for launches. The French have given some invalid legal reason why this can't be done.

Send in helicopters with marines and destroy the boats before they are launched. If the French won't undertake this, we might have to do it ourselves from the air.

John Ashworth

Helensburgh, Argyll

SIR - I can't believe that the Government hasn't arranged for MI5 to infiltrate the gangs in France and Belgium.

If the BBC can find them it can't be that difficult.

Peter Curtis

Budleigh Salterton, Devon

SIR - Migrants crossing the Channel are at a record high. Job vacancies in Britain are at a record high. Britain is (still) a welcoming place. Join the dots.

Jill Lowery

London NW3

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