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France and the United Kingdom announced Tuesday, July 20, a strengthening of their cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration at their common border. The two countries intend to pay particular attention to illegal sea crossings through the Channel.
Strengthening of the police along the French coasts, deployment of surveillance technologies, promise of financial investment from the British: France and the United Kingdom agreed on Tuesday on several measures intended to fight more effectively against illegal immigration.
The measures are announced as at least 430 migrants crossed the Channel on Monday to reach the United Kingdom, according to the British Home Office – a new record in one day.
British and French Home Affairs Ministers Priti Patel and Gerald Darmanin spoke on Tuesday by videoconference. According to a joint declaration, they “approved the strengthening of their joint action and their cooperation to fight against illegal immigration at their common border, by focusing their efforts on the phenomenon of sea crossings using makeshift boats. “.
They thus decided to “reinforce the presence of the police forces along the French coasts, by providing for the doubling of the number of police and gendarmes deployed on the spot”. They also plan to “deploy technologies and surveillance vehicles in order to further improve the coverage of the French coasts and thus prevent crossing attempts, in particular through the development of aerial surveillance”.
Video conferencing with my British counterpart @pritipatel to sign a historic agreement! The United Kingdom pledges to pay 62.7 million euros to fight against illegal immigration across the Channel.
🤝 A real Franco-British joint effort pic.twitter.com/CBT6noIYNu
– Gerald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) July 20, 2021
The declaration also refers to “investments in equipment to strengthen border security at the level of the main transport infrastructures along the Channel coast” – the objective being to fight against illegal immigration by road.
“The United Kingdom has committed to a financial investment of 62.7 million euros in 2021-22 to support France” and develop the means to fight against irregular immigration, indicates this joint declaration.
The text mentions the establishment, “in the long term”, of a “smart border” along the coast, with surveillance technology “to better detect attempts to cross”.
The United Kingdom and France “support the idea of a readmission agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which will have mutual benefits in terms of deterring illegal migration, protecting vulnerable people and fight against criminal organizations “.
“Confronted with unprecedented migratory flows at the southern borders”, France “underlines its firm commitment to improve the control of all of its borders”.
Meanwhile, British MPs are examining the asylum reform bill this week. He plans to increase to four years, from the current six months, the prison sentence incurred by migrants seeking to enter the country illegally and to bring to life imprisonment – from 14 years imprisonment currently – the maximum incurred by the smugglers.