France is REFUSING to stop cross-channel migrant boats once they are in the ...

French authorities are refusing to intercept migrant boats heading for Britain once they are in the English Channel, despite receiving millions of pounds of UK taxpayers cash to cut off the route, a minister admitted today.

Chris Philp admitted that a £28million deal signed with Paris at the weekend would not affect migrants who manage to get their often ramshackle vessels into the water because of the French 'operational posture'.

Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement with France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Saturday to double the number of officers patrolling beaches on the Channel coast.

They pledged to make the route ‘completely unviable’ for people smuggling gangs.

But facing the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Immigration Compliance Minister Mr Philp admitted that it once migrants were on the water they could not currently be stopped heading for Britain.

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Tory MP Tim Loughton asked: 'Is it not the case that no agreement still has been reached with the French government about the French government proactively turning back the boats, intercepting them, once they get into the water, and without that we will still continue to see a flow of people taking their chances at the hands of people smugglers coming across the channel in those small boats in whatever numbers?’

Mr Philp replied: 'That is currently correct. The French operational posture on the water is that they don’t forcibly intercept migrant boats. 

'They will rescue them if they start sinking and if migrants request assistance. But they do not currently forcibly intercept migrant boats while in French waters.'

Chris Philp admitted that a £28million deal signed with Paris at the weekend would not affect migrants who manage to get their often ramshackle vessels into the water because of the French 'operational posture'.

Chris Philp admitted that a £28million deal signed with Paris at the weekend would not affect migrants who manage to get their often ramshackle vessels into the water because of the French 'operational posture'.

Chris Philp

Tim Loughton

Immigration Compliance Minister Mr Philp (left)  admitted that it once migrants were on the water they could not currently be stopped heading for Britain, under questioning from MP Tim Loughton (right)

Mr Loughton said that interceptions were legal under

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