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French Minister Says U.K. ‘Modern Slavery’ Is Migrant Lure

  • Beaune says Europe is ‘punching bag’ for Johnson’s government
  • France will take tough approach in border talks, Beaune says
Dinghies, used by migrants to cross the channel, sit in a storage facility in Dover, U.K.

Dinghies, used by migrants to cross the channel, sit in a storage facility in Dover, U.K.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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France’s minister for European Affairs ramped up the rhetorical battle with the U.K. over channel crossings on Monday, slamming a British economic model he described as tantamount to “modern slavery.”

Migrants are drawn to the U.K. as it is easier to find a poorly paid job on the black market, Clement Beaune said on France Inter radio. He spoke after the government held talks with European allies on Sunday on how to stop people trying to reach the U.K. in small boats, but withdrew an invitation to U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend the meeting.