Published: 14/11/2022- 08:11
Updated: 14/11/2022- 10:08
Trending on GB News
The UK has agreed a deal which will see a 40 percent boost in the number of officers patrolling beaches in northern France in a bid to stem the flow of migrants crossing the Channel.
British staff will also be embedded in French control rooms for the first time under the plans to clamp down on dangerous small boat crossings, as the number of people making the perilous journey to the UK so far this year topped 40,000.
Further measures signed off in Paris include an investment in CCTV and dog detection teams to keep tabs on ports and plans to better equip officers with drones and night vision capabilities.
Meanwhile, Britain and France have agreed to step up co-operation on the issue with European partners, with a meeting of the “Calais Group” of neighbouring countries to be scheduled as soon as possible.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman with the French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin
A new taskforce will also be established to address the “recent rise in Albanians and organised crime groups exploiting illegal migration routes” into Western Europe, No 10 said.
Elsewhere, joint UK-France analysis teams will seek to boost information sharing.
Lastly, the deal pledges investment in French reception and removal centres for migrants who are prevented from making the crossing to the UK.
The agreement was signed by Home Secretary Suella Braverman and French interior minister Gerald Darmanin on Monday morning.
But the move, which will see the amount paid by the UK to France rise from £54million to £63million, has been slammed by some people.
GB News presenter Nigel Farage said on the deal: "We are giving the French another £63m to 'stop' the Channel crossings.
"972 came on Saturday, 853 yesterday and more are already en route today. There are huge numbers in the Dunkirk area waiting, our gutless government has no intention of dealing with this."
While a user on Twitter wrote: “Pathetic deal. Stop the boats and turn them around like Italy do.”
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent
Former editor of The Sun Kelvin MacKenzie also hit out at the new deal.
He said: “£62million of our money is going to the French in a new deal to stop Channel migrants.
“This up on the £54million we were paying. Where did that get us?
“Mmmm. There are now 40,000 illegals staying in 3-star hotels at our expense. We can't afford these French deals.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the move would contribute to his efforts to “grip illegal migration”, and that he was “confident” numbers would come down over time.
The Prime Minister said he had spent more time working on the issue than any other, except the autumn statement, since entering No 10.
Downing Street said the 40 percent increase in the number of officers patrolling beaches in northern France would “increase early detection”, while the presence of UK staff in French control rooms would boost understanding of the “threat” at hand and help inform deployments.
The boost in port surveillance is designed to crack down on migrants attempting to enter the UK on lorries.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, claimed the deal fails to address the factors behind people choosing to put themselves at risk trying to reach Britain the first place – and will therefore “do little to end the crossings”.
He called for a focus on creating more “safe routes” and working with the EU and other countries to “share responsibility” for the “global challenge”.
He also urged the Government to do “far more” to reduce the backlogs in the current asylum system.
“The Government must take a more comprehensive approach and create an orderly, fair and humane asylum system that recognises that the vast majority of those taking dangerous journey are refugees escaping for their lives,” he said.
“It needs to face up to the fact it is a global issue which will not be resolved by enforcement measures alone.”