LONDON (AA) – UK and France have signed a new agreement to tackle illegal migration via the English Channel.
The French government has agreed to double the number of officers patrolling French beaches, from where migrants launch their perilous journey to Britain.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin “reaffirmed their commitment to make this route unviable,” as they signed the agreement, according to a government statement.
“They signed an enhanced agreement which builds on the joint co-operation that has already seen the proportion of crossings intercepted and prevented rise from 41% in 2019 to 60% in recent weeks,” the statement said.
Doubling the number of French security officers “will bolster the patrolling of the 150-kilometre stretch of coastline regularly targeted by people-smuggling networks and enable quicker response rates to suspicious activity, stopping migrants leaving French beaches in the first place and preventing more dangerous and unnecessary crossings.”
The two ministers also “agreed an enhanced package of cutting edge surveillance technology - including drones, radar equipment, optronic binoculars and fixed cameras.”
“On top of these new operational plans, we will introduce a new asylum system that is firm and fair, and I will bring forward new legislation next year to deliver on that commitment,” Patel said, confirming once again British government’s plans to curb migration into the country.
More than 8,000 people have crossed from French coasts to the UK this year, according to the local media reports.