‘We are in conflict with France!’ Ben Habib blasts French border force: ‘No interest in stopping migrants'

‘We are in conflict with France!’ Ben Habib blasts French border force: ‘No interest in stopping migrants'
GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 07/12/2023

- 11:22

Updated: 07/12/2023

- 11:29

Over 20,000 people have illegally crossed into the UK this year alone

Deputy leader of Reform UK, Ben Habib, has hit out at the French Border Force, as the Government put forward their latest treaty with Rwanda to tackle migration.

Official figures reveal the total number of people who have crossed to UK shores in 2023 now stands at 20,973, with 436 small boats having taken the journey.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said upon signing the new deal in Rwanda that the new treaty will address "all the issues" raised by the Supreme Court, after the policy was ruled "unlawful".

Joined in a press conference by Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, Cleverly said: "We feel very strongly that this treaty addresses all the issues raised by their lordships in the Supreme Court and we have worked very closely with our Rwandan partners to ensure that it does so."

Channel migrants

Over 20,000 people have illegally crossed into the UK this year alone


When addressing MPs in the Commons on Wednesday, Cleverly stated that they "cannot be confident that courts will respect the new treaty on its own".

The UK has also invested over £100million to France, in a bid to crack down on Channel crossings by illegal migrants.

Discussing the Rwanda treaty and the UK's efforts to stop migration figures, Ben Habib said people smugglers are "not deterred" by any measures that the UK and France are currently adopting.

Habib shared his doubts over the latest Rwanda treaty and claimed it still wouldn't deter migrants, "even in full swing".

Habib told GB News: "People smugglers are not deterred at all by any of the measures that the French government or the British government have taken so far, including obviously Rwanda. And I don't think Rwanda would act as a deterrent even if it was in full swing.

"The maximum number of people we're told could go to Rwanda is in the low thousands, and we've got tens of thousands of people coming across from France, and the small risk of being deported to Rwanda, assuming that scheme ever gets off the ground, will never be a deterrent.

Habib explained: "There are really well organised, slick people smuggling operations, which the French law enforcement authorities have no real interest in busting up. And even though we're paid a couple of £100 million over the last few years and we've promised another £500 million, they're not going to do it because it's not in their interest to do it.

"The French want to get rid of the problem as much as we don't want the problem, so we're in conflict with France. There's no association with France that is going to result in this problem going away, and any schemes like Rwanda, any desire to control or deter the flow of boats through deterrent, is not going to work."

Ben Habib appears on GB News

Ben Habib says French Authorities have 'no real interest' in tackling migration numbers

GB News

Habib told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster that Western governments have "given up" on policing borders.

He fumed: "We don't see borders as the sacrosanct definition of the territory of our nation states.

"I think the political classes which govern us have come to believe, wrongly in my opinion, that the global good is served through global policies, that nation states are parochial in their nature, that national interests end up creating conflict with other nations, and the best way to go forward is on a kind of global cooperative basis.

"And we've seen that in spades, of course, in the European Union, where literally borders have been removed with the Schengen zone, and in Italy."

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