UK, France Agree To Step Up Efforts To Tackle Illegal Migration - London


UK, France Agree to Step Up Efforts to Tackle Illegal Migration - London

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st July, 2021) The United Kingdom and France have signed an agreement to strengthen joint efforts to combat illegal migration across the English Channel, the UK government said.

"[UK] Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin today (Tuesday 20 July) signed an agreement to strengthen UK-France joint cooperation to tackle illegal immigration across the [English] Channel," the government said in a press release late on Tuesday.

The countries made the decision following a rise in dangerous crossings, the press release said, adding that the agreement envisages the number of police officers patrolling French beaches more than doubling in a bid to prevent illegal migration and stop small boats from departing French beaches.

"With UK support last year, France doubled the number of officers deployed daily on French beaches, improved intelligence sharing and purchased more cutting-edge technology. This resulted in France preventing twice as many crossings so far this year than in the same period in 2020," the government added.

Under the agreement, Paris will be able to deploy more security forces further up the coast, as well as install and use the latest surveillance equipment throughout northern France.

The sides also agreed to implement a long-term plan to create a "smart border" along the coast and improve existing surveillance technology. The upgraded technology is set to "identify where crossings are being attempted, directing French law enforcement officers to those locations, thereby stopping migrants from risking their lives in entering the water," the press release said.

The agreement was inked as part of the home secretary's New Plan for Immigration that was debated in the parliament this week. The Nationality and Borders Bill is expected to address the failures of the current asylum system and the criminal activity behind illegal migration.