FRANCE rejected a request to have British warships pick up migrants in the Channel and take them back to shore.
The French military gave a resounding “non” to the request by UK border officials.
Last year, Border Force carried out exercises alongside the Royal Navy to show it was possible to pluck migrants out of the sea and return them to France safely.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said at the time: “We want the French to work and collaborate with us on this.”
It has now emerged the plan was flat-out rejected by Paris.
Since then, two separate deals have been made, with Britain paying more than £70 million to help patrol French beaches.
It comes as Home Office insiders said people smugglers are launching migrants in stormy weather.
French authorities picked up 88 migrants in the Channel today.
Several small boats were intercepted between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais.
And patrols close to French President Emmanuel Macron’s holiday home have been stepped up after 140 migrants were stopped as they tried to reach the UK.
Two separate groups were stopped — one of 70 people in an inflatable which was taking on water — near upmarket Le Touquet.
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