Additional patrols, new technological means deployed along French beaches: the French and British Interior Ministers announced that they had reached an agreement to “make it impossible to cross the Channel”.
France and the United Kingdom announced on November 29, 2020 that they had reached an agreement aimed at ending illegal immigration through the Channel. In a joint declaration published by the French Ministry of the Interior, Paris and London thus underline their determination to remedy the illegal crossings between the two countries, of which a “high number” has been observed this year.
Several measures will therefore be applied: a significant increase in the deployment of security forces – which should be doubled by December 1 – to investigate, deter and prevent irregular crossings, the deployment of technological surveillance equipment to detect and prevent crossings attempts before they occur (such as drones and radars), measures to strengthen border security, but also to help migrants find appropriate accommodation “in order to shield them from the hold of the traffickers ”.
Conclusion with @pritipatel of an agreement to fight against irregular immigration which particularly affects @hautsdefrance :
Fight against smuggling networks
👉 Additional staff to control the coastline
👉Better reception conditions for asylum seekers pic.twitter.com/cMFol5uoxb
– Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) November 29, 2020
In its press release, the French Ministry of the Interior also explains that the results of these new measures will be examined in six months. In an interview with the BBC the day before, British Home Secretary Priti Patel welcomed the deal, saying it would allow the two countries to “share the mission of making Channel crossings impossible” .
In recent months, more and more migrants have tried to reach Britain through this dangerous and busy route. Four deaths were recorded in 2019, and seven since the start of the year. The matter was a source of tension, with the United Kingdom accusing France of not getting involved enough to prevent the crossings.
The north of France has long attracted would-be illegal immigrants to Great Britain, aboard boats or some of the tens of thousands of vehicles that cross the Channel on ferries and trains daily.