UK signs new deal with France to ban illegal channel crossings

Britain on Monday agreed a new deal with France to stop illegal immigrants from traveling to Britain in small boats.

40,000 people have successfully crossed the English Channel so far this year.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman signed an agreement with her French counterpart, Home Secretary Gérald Dalmannin, to increase UK payments to France between £55 million ($64.5 million) and £63 million ($74 million) annually. dollar).

France will step up beach patrols and deploy 40% more police over the next five months, the government said in a statement. Joint statement.

Funds will also go to border security equipment and immigration centers.

“State-of-the-art surveillance technology, drones, sniffer dog teams, CCTV and helicopters” will help detect and prevent crossings from the French coast, the statement said.

Some of the investments will support illegal immigration reception and removal centers, prevent those entering France via the Mediterranean route from traveling across the English Channel, and attempt to leave France for the UK. detain those who are detained and assist them in their voluntary return to their home countries. “Where appropriate, safe and lawful”

The French-British agreement also stipulates that the British and French border guards will incorporate officers into each other’s teams to better understand the threat.

A task force will be formed to focus on “reversing the recent increase in Albanian nationals and organized crime groups taking advantage of illegal immigration routes into Western Europe and the UK”.

The UK-France Joint Oversight Committee will continue to review the measures and their implementation.

Epoch Times photo
A group of illegal immigrants were brought into the port of Dover, Kent after a small boat was intercepted in the English Channel on October 9, 2022. (PA media)

Ministers said they expected to soon hold talks with neighboring countries to “ensure a multilateral approach” to illegal immigration, including interfering with the activities of traffickers before they reach France.

They are also scheduled to meet with their G7 counterparts in Frankfurt later this week.

Ministers said existing agreements between the two countries have prevented more than 23,000 small boat crossings in 2021 and more than 30,000 this year, dismantling 55 organized crime groups and arresting more than 500 people. rice field.

Downing Street said increased beach patrols in northern France would ‘increase early detection’, but the presence of British staff in French control rooms will help better understand the ‘threat’ at hand and may be useful in providing information for deployment.

But Ember Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said the deal could address the factors behind people choosing to risk themselves and try to reach Britain first. It argued that it was “very little effective in ending border crossings”.

He urged governments to focus on creating more “safe routes” and working with the European Union and other countries to “share responsibility” for “global challenges” He urged doing “much more” to reduce the backlog. asylum system.

“Governments must take a more inclusive approach and create an orderly, fair and humane asylum system that recognizes that the majority of those making dangerous journeys are refugees fleeing for their lives.” he said.

“We have to face the fact that this is a global problem that cannot be solved through enforcement measures alone.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.