Some general thoughts about this issue: since France got more strict about this issue, the UK has seen a slight increase in the numbers of asylum seekers entering the UK. My view is that contrary to public perception, this is because currently a large % of asylum seekers arrive in the UK via airports, with an increase in people from Iran and Iraq (together with a decrease of people from Eritrea and Sudan).
Regarding paying France: I say ‘yes’ – this is a global issue/problem that requires a coordinated response. And this nonsense that refugees should have to claim asylum in the first safe country is un-workable – places far too much unfair burden on other countries. Remember also that the UK is about 17th on the global list of ‘who takes most refugees’. I sense the matter is become more complex because large numbers of people from Africa are entering Europe, many of whom are simply seeking a better life (i.e. economic migrants).