'Taking the p***!' French border force slammed for blowing UK budget on vacuum cleaners as migration soars


French border force has faced criticism from UK politicians over its spending of the UK's border force budget

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 19/11/2023

- 16:01

Updated: 20/11/2023

- 07:57

Tory MP Tim Loughton told GB News: 'They are absolutely taking the P'

French border force has faced criticism from UK politicians over its spending of the UK's border force budget.

The UK has handed France £40.4 million as part of the Sandhurst Treaty, aimed at stopping small boats from crossing the Channel.

Last week, it was revealed that some of the funds were spent on equipping French police with everyday appliances such as microwaves, vacuum cleaners for cars, and car adapters for chargers.

According to Freedom of Information requests, filed by Politico, a significant proportion of the money was spent on transport, including helicopters, cars, motorbikes, e-scooters and quad bikes.

WATCH: Rees-Mogg says, ‘We're not succeeding in integrating migrants to this country’

It was also spent on surveillance equipment, such as binoculars, drones, dashcams, hunting cameras, endoscopes and software.

A sum of £130,383 was spent on setting up a horse brigade, including the purchase of riding boots, helmets and care for the horses, with annual operating costs of £26,000.

Despite the funding, French police have stopped fewer than half of all migrants attempting to cross the English Channel since the deal was signed in 2018.

Tory MP Tim Toughton told GB News France is "taking the P" with its use of the funds.

Meanwhile, former MEP Ben Habib accused the UK of "rewarding" the French for "bad behaviour".

Asked about the figures, Loughton said: "They are absolutely taking the P.

"£480m to subsidise the French police and it is not all going on the French police let alone those patrolling the Channel coast."

Habib added: "In its failed wisdom, our government thinks it can deter illegal entry to the UK by, amongst other things, rewarding France for sending us their problem.

"In every year since 2018 we have given France more money to prevent the launch of dinghies and in every year the number of launches has increased.

"A total of around £700 million has been given or pledged to the French. They are being rewarded for bad behaviour. When you reward a child for the same, its behaviour gets worse; so does that of the French.

"There is a cost-of-living crisis in the UK, our security and social fabric is being threatened by illegal migration and the French are having a laugh at our vast expense.

"But we cannot blame the French. The villains here are the profligate idiots in our government, led by Sunak.
"They are the ones splashing our cash into the Channel."


The French interior ministry told Politico that their border force's focus is on dismantling smuggling networks, with 47 groups broken up in 2022 and 28 so far in 2023.

A UK Home Office spokesperson declined to comment on specific areas of spending, but said: "The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.”

They added: “Our priority is to stop the boats, and thanks to the work of the Small Boats Operational Command alongside our French partners, crossings are down by more than 20 percent compared to the same point last year."

You may like

{% if context.post.roar_specific_data and context.post.roar_specific_data.affiliate_post %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}