UK Interior Minister Preity Patel has said the deal will double the number of officers patrolling French beaches.
The United Kingdom and France have signed a new agreement that will be used by refugees and migrants in small boats to reach the UK to stop unregistered movement of people across the channel, increase patrolling and technology and close the dangerous route.
Under the agreement signed on Saturday, the number of officers patrolling French beaches will be doubled and new equipment, including drones and radar, will be deployed, UK Home Secretary Preity Patel said.
“Thanks to more police patrolling on French beaches and better intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies, we are already seeing fewer immigrants leaving French beaches,” she said.
Amnesty International described the deal as “extremely disappointing”.
Aid and human rights groups say the best way to stop travel is to provide safe ways for people in the UK to seek asylum.
This year, hundreds of people, including some children, are moving from makeshift camps in northern France to southern England – navigating one of the busiest shipping routes in the world with overloaded rubber dinghies. Some drowned.
Patel, and her French counterpart, Gerald Dermanin, wanted them to change this path undesirable.
New to fix small boat crossings – signing contract.
That’s for sure:
France Number of police on beaches in France
Increase surveillance with cutting-edge technology
Introduce greater security at ports
France Find accommodation for immigrants in Francehttps://t.co/vjG1KiTkep pic.twitter.com/COJ1jncjcC
– Preeti Patel (rit Preeti Patel) November 28, 2020
Patel said the UK and France plan to continue close dialogue to reduce immigration pressure at the partnership border next year.
Patel told British media that French authorities had so far prevented 5,000 people from traveling to the UK so far this year. Over the past 10 years, Patel said, the UK has given France 150 150 million ($ 177.9 million) to tackle immigration.
She said authorities had recently focused on stopping small boats, and they were now seeing more refugees and migrants trying to cross the channel by cargo trucks, tightening border security in France to stop it.
Patel said the UK plans to introduce a new shelter system by law next year.
The Detention Action Charity also strongly criticized the deal. Bella Sanke, director of the organization, said there was a need to create safer and legal avenues for immigration instead.