UK is accused of ‘modern slavery’ as tit-for-tat row with France over migrant row turns ugly 

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  • A minister in Paris says Britain has a ‘semi-modern slavery’ labor market
  • French Interior Minister Gerald Darminin also denied joint coastal patrols
  • This comes after 27 migrants died trying to cross the Channel in a canoe last week

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The war of words between Britain and France over the Chanel migrant crisis intensified last night as Paris described Britain’s labor market as ‘semi-modern slavery’.

It came as Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin rejected joint Anglo-French coastal patrols in northern France – and proposed a ‘pushback’ strategy to remove dinghies from UK waters.

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Mr Dormain called for Britain to agree a new post-Brexit deal with the EU to fight illegal migration, and said French Prime Minister Jean Casteux would lay out his demands in a letter to Boris Johnson today.

In the wake of the death of 27 migrants trying to cross the Channel in a foggy boat last week, France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune said Britain’s labor market was to blame for the crisis, alleging that low checks on illegal workers had led to has made the UK an attractive destination. ,

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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (pictured) dismissed a joint Anglo-French coastal patrol in northern France

“We are asking the British to change our structure,” he said.

‘Semi-modern slavery or at least illegal work has an economic model that is very strong.

‘If the British are not going back to a certain number of checks on more humane, more compliant labor market regulation, this attraction will remain.’

Mr Darmanin also attributed the crisis to “the allure of the UK”.

French Prime Minister Jean Casteux (pictured) will lay out his demands in a letter to Boris Johnson today

French Prime Minister Jean Casteux (pictured) will lay out his demands in a letter to Boris Johnson today

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously wrote an open letter to France about the migrant crisis

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously wrote an open letter to France about the migrant crisis

Pictured: A group of more than 40 migrants react as they board an inflatable dinghy to leave the coast of northern France and cross the English Channel near Vimreux, France.

Pictured: A group of more than 40 migrants react as they board an inflatable dinghy to leave the coast of northern France and cross the English Channel near Vimreux, France.

The minister, who described Britain as ‘El Dorado’ for asylum seekers, said: ‘One of the engines of English economic policy – not all of it, obviously – is the illegal employment of workers.

He said France would seek a ‘balanced’ deal between the UK and the EU to tackle illegal immigration after Brexit, and not deal directly with the UK.

Mr Darmanin rejected proposals backed by Home Secretary Priti Patel to put boats in the Channel, but said France was ready to resume talks after Britain ended Britain’s ‘double speech’.

More than 26,500 migrants have crossed the channel this year, which is more than three times as much in the whole of 2020.

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