New agreement between France and Great Britain on the illegal passage of migrants in the Channel

Strengthening the cooperation between two border countries. France and the United Kingdom signed a new agreement on Monday to fight together against migrant crossings in the Channel, the cause of regular tensions for years between Paris and London, according to information gathered by AFP from a French ministry source. Interior.

In particular, this agreement foresees that the British will pay 72.2 million euros in 2022-2023 to France, which in turn will increase the number of police and gendarmes on the country’s beaches from 800 to 900, from which migrants leave. , according to the joint statement from the two countries consulted by AFP.

A record 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel since January

No quantified target for boat diversion appears in this document, signed on Monday morning in Paris by French Interior Minister GĂ©rald Darmanin and his British counterpart Suella Braverman.

The deal comes a day after the British Ministry of Defense announced that the number of migrants crossing the Channel since the start of the year had passed a record of 40,000.

In this text, London and Paris first set out to deploy “technological and human resources”, including drones, to the French coast to better detect, monitor and intercept boats.

The two countries also want to collect and use information, especially “from intercepted migrants”, to better dismantle smuggling networks and deter passage through joint work “as early as possible” in cooperation with countries of origin and transit of exiles.

Reception centers will be set up

For the first time, teams of observers will be deployed on both sides of the Channel to “strengthen mutual understanding” between the two countries, “improve the conduct of investigations of migrants” and “increase the exchange of information”.

Reception centers for migrants are also to be set up in the south of France to deter exiles taking the Mediterranean from returning to Calais and “offer them 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. Further south, in the Mediterranean, the humanitarian boat Ocean Viking, which had 234 migrants on board, was able to dock in Toulon on 11 November after a three-week journey.

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