Johnny Mercer tells veterans to be 'proud' of work in Afghanistan
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The French European Affairs Minister told CNews on Wednesday that Brussels should seek a new migration deal with Brexit Britain in order to send some migrants across the Channel. As the taking of Afghanistan by the Taliban has been sparking fears of a new migration crisis threatening the bloc, Mr Beaune said the UK should take a share of the burden despite no longer being subject to EU rules.
He said: “We must, after Brexit, have a new migratory deal no doubt between the EU and Britain so that we can expel, or direct a certain number of migrants to the UK so they can request asylum.
“It’s [Britain’s] responsibility.
“We have seen sometimes that it is the attractiveness of Britain’s asylum system that is in question.
“We are the ones who have paid a high price over the past 10 years – we see it in Calais regarding organisation, humanitarian aid and police checks.”
The comments sparked outrage in the UK with Conservatives blasting the French politician.
A Conservative source told The Telegraph: “Monsieur Beanune needs his eyes testing.
“Day after day, French boats are escorting migrants into UK waters.
“We would love a new deal with the EU or France.
“But so far both are refusing to discuss it.
“We are reforming the system through our New Plan for Immigration and would suggest that he has a read of that before making such nonsensical comments.”
Tim Loughton, a Conservative member of the Commons home affairs committee, said: “Why am I not surprised?
“So here’s the deal.
“They can send migrants to the UK to make their asylum applications so long as they immediately take back all of those who have their claims rejected and stop all those still trying to come illegally in small boats.”
Mr Beaune’s comments came as the latest plane carrying evacuees from Afghanistan to Britain has arrived in the country in the early hours of Thursday.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says an RAF Voyager aircraft carrying around 250 people from Kabul landed at the Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire soon after midnight.
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MoD figures show more than 11,500 people have now been airlifted to the UK since the evacuation mission Operation Pitting began on August 13 as the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan ahead of the US-led withdrawal of western troops from the country.
This includes embassy staff, British nationals, those eligible under the Afghan relocation and assistance policy (Arap) programme, as well as some evacuees from allied countries.
The Arap programme is designed to allow those Afghans who helped the UK forces, and therefore are at risk of persecution by the Taliban, to leave the country.
The MoD said the UK has evacuated some 7,000 Afghan individuals and their families.
The number of British citizens who still need evacuating, as well as those who hold dual citizenship, remains unclear.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “every hour” will be used to help people flee and declined to rule out UK forces having to depart by the end of Friday.
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