The British and French governments on Tuesday signed an agreement to curb the number of migrants illegally crossing the Channel, in which the U.K. will provide €62.7 million in order to reinforce police patrolling on French beaches.
The deal was signed by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin as hundreds of migrants are landing daily on British shores, after crossing the strait of Dover on dinghies. According to a tally from the Times, close to 8,500 people have done so in 2021.
“There is a real risk there will be fatalities so we have got to work with the French to stop them leaving the beaches in the first place,” a Home Office official told London Playbook.
The money is expected to be spent on doubling the number of police officers patrolling the beaches of northern France to 200, as well as investing in surveillance technology. Reinforced patrols are set to start this summer, a French Interior Ministry official told Playbook Paris.
Patel will appear before the House of Commons Home Affairs select committee at 10.30 a.m, London time, alongside Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft and Border Force boss Paul Lincoln. She has been defending her Nationality and Borders bill in the U.K. parliament this week, which aims to make illegal migration an offense punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
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