FRANCE has been accused of surrendering to cruel people smugglers as ministers braced for a record number of migrants coming to the UK.
Nearly 2000 migrants have arrived on British shores this week as French efforts to stop crossings continue to fail.
It is expected to be another record breaking week of small boats just weeks after officials in France promised to stop 100 per cent of boats.
A record 1,000 were expected to have arrived yesterday, adding to the 1,249 who have already made the perilous journey this week.
This is despite two people losing their lives while attempting the crossing in recent weeks and several more feared to have been lost at sea.
More than 22,300 people have so far succeeded in reaching the UK aboard small boats this year – nearly three times the number for 2020.
A Whitehall source blasted the French last night – saying they had effectively “downed tools”.
They said: “The French government failed in their duty to protect life and to uphold the joint agreement to stop small boats leaving France.
“They let hundreds of people potentially set sail to their death whilst only stopping a couple of boats.
“They appear to have ceded sovereign territory to criminal people smugglers.
“This abject failure will be raised in the strongest possible terms with Gérald Darmanin and the French Government.”
The Home Office’s clandestine Channel threat commander, Dan O’Mahoney, said: “Migrants making these dangerous crossings are putting their lives at risk and it is vital we do everything we can to prevent them and break the business model of the criminal gangs exploiting people.
“As part of our response it is important we have a maritime deterrent in the channel and Border Force officers are authorised to use safe and legal options for stopping small boats.”