The agreement was signed by British Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin as hundreds of migrants land on British shores daily, after crossing the Strait of Dover in canoes. Nearly 8,500 people did so in 2021, according to a Times tally.
“There is a real risk that there will be deaths, so we have to work with the French to prevent them from leaving the beaches in the first place,” an Home Office official told London Playbook.
The money is expected to be spent to double the number of police patrolling beaches in northern France to 200, as well as investing in surveillance technology. Reinforced patrols are expected to begin this summer, a French interior ministry official told Playbook Paris.
Patel told the House of Commons internal affairs select committee that the number of migrants attempting to cross France had “increased dramatically.” She said more than 60% of inflows to France came from Belgium and that the UK government was working with Belgian, Dutch and German authorities to stem the flow.
“Originally we saw a lot more attention in Calais and Calais, we are now seeing widespread dispersal along the entire French coast, and that has been the trend for most of this year. She said.
Patel defended his nationality and borders bill in the UK parliament this week. The new law aims to make illegal migration a crime punishable by up to 4 years in prison.