France and the United Kingdom signed a new agreement on Monday (14 November) to fight together against the crossing of migrants from the Channel, a source of regular tension for years between Paris and London, the French interior ministry said.
In particular, this agreement allows the British to pay €72.2 million in 2022-2023 to France, which in return will increase its security forces by 40% (350 additional police and gendarmes, including reservists) on its beaches. , from which migrants travel to the UK, according to the joint statement by the two countries.
No quantified measure of boat diversions, which the UK wanted, appears in the document, signed on Monday morning in Paris by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and her British counterpart, Suella Braverman, according to the cross-Channel press.
The deal comes a day after the UK Ministry of Defense announced a record number of migrants crossing the Channel since the start of the year, more than 40,000.
“Suggest Safe Alternatives”
In this text, London and Paris first set themselves the goal of implementing “technological and human resources”including drones, on the French coast to better detect, monitor and intercept boats.
Both countries also want to collect and use intelligence, i.a “from intercepted migrants”to better dismantle smuggling networks and deter crossings through joint work “as early as possible”, in connection with the origin and transit of the countries of exile. To achieve these three goals, a dozen actions aimed at “a more integrated and efficient approach” is listed.
For the first time, teams of observers will be deployed on both sides of the canal “to strengthen common understanding” between the two countries, “improve the implementation of migrant debriefings” and “increase the exchange of information”.
The agreement also provides funds for “detection dogs” in ports and setting up surveillance cameras at the most important border crossing points along the coast. Migrant reception centers are also to be set up in southern France to deter exiles crossing the Mediterranean from returning to Calais and their “provide safe alternatives”.
The agreement was signed almost a year after 27 migrants died on 24 November 2021 when their boat sank off Calais, the worst tragedy on record in the Channel. More than 200 people have died or gone missing, at sea or on land, trying to reach England from France’s northern coast since 2014, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).