UK and France sign a deal to stop illegal migrant English Channel crossings
New technology will be used and patrols doubled
Britain and France have just signed a joint agreement to tighten their borders against illegal migration across the English Channel as they pledged to increase sea and land patrols and use technology to close off the precarious route used by migrants to the UK.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said:“The agreement represented a step forward in the countries' mission to make crossings unviable.Thanks to more police patrols on French beaches and enhanced intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies, we are already seeing fewer migrants leaving French beaches. The UK and France plan to continue a close dialogue to reduce migratory pressures at the Channel over the next year”.
Gerard Darmanin said that under the pact, the number of officers patrolling French beaches would be doubled, with drones and radar being put to work. The deal includes a redoubled crackdown on smuggling networks with more patrol personnel on the French coastline and better accommodation for those asylum seekers on the French side.
In 2020, there were hundreds of people, including children, who have been stopped from the English Channel to England from their makeshift camps in northern France. This has meant navigating one of the world's busiest shipping routes, often at great peril to themselves in overloaded rubber dinghies. Some of the migrants have drowned.
Ms Patel told UK media that French authorities had stopped 5,000 migrants from travelling to the UK so far this year. She said over the last 10 years, the UK had given France £150 million ($199.7m) to tackle immigration.
She said the recent focus by authorities on stopping small boats meant they were now seeing more migrants trying to cross the Channel by lorry, and that border security was being tightened in France to try to help stem the flow.