France, UK sign new deal on thwarting migrant Channel crossings

World

Published: 2022-11-14 12:27

Last Updated: 2022-12-01 16:16


France, UK sign new deal on thwarting migrant Channel crossings
France, UK sign new deal on thwarting migrant Channel crossings

France and the UK on Monday signed a new agreement to work together to stop migrants crossing the Channel to England in small boats, a source of huge bilateral tension.

Under the agreement, Britain will pay France 72.2 million euros ($74.5 million) in 2022-2023 so that Paris can increase by 40 percent the numbers of security forces patrolling its northern beaches, the French interior ministry said.

This means some 350 additional members of the French security forces will be patrolling following the deal, signed in Paris by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and British counterpart Suella Braverman.

London and Paris also pledged to use technological and human resources on the French coast to better detect, monitor and intercept boats.

They want to collect and use information, in particular from intercepted migrants, to better dismantle smuggling networks and deter crossings.

For the first time, teams of observers will be deployed on both sides of the Channel to "strengthen common understanding", improve the debriefings of migrants and increase exchanges of information.

The deal comes after the UK government said on Sunday that more than 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel to Britain so far this year, a new record.

The provisional total for this year stands at 40,885, most of them Albanians, Iranians and Afghans -- well in excess of last year's 28,561, the Ministry of Defence said.