France and Britain agree on new migration agreement for the English Channel

Status: 14.11.2022 12:08 pm

With a new agreement, France and Britain want to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel. The contract provides for drones, sniffer dogs and additional security personnel.

Nearly a year after the worst-ever accident involving a migrant boat in the English Channel, leaving 27 dead and missing, France and Britain have signed a comprehensive migration agreement. Up to 350 additional guards, drones and sniffer dogs will be provided to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

According to the signed agreement, Great Britain wants to pay France about 72 million euros for this. For the first time, observers will be deployed on both sides of the Channel to interrogate migrants and better combat smuggling networks. The number of police officers deployed on the northern French coast will be increased by 40 percent and new surveillance technology will also be used.

So far 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel

More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel since the beginning of the year, according to the British Home Office, a new record. Last year there were about 28,500. Last weekend alone, some 1,200 people attempted the dangerous crossing.

In particular, both countries want to target illegal entry from Albania. According to UK figures, almost a third of migrants crossing the Channel come from there. Many migrants want to move on to England because they speak the language or already have family and friends there. Many also think that it is easier to find work there without a residence permit.

Rishi Sunak has a strict immigration policy

The agreement was signed by French Interior Minister GĂ©rald Darmanin and his British counterpart Suella Braverman. Both are under pressure in their countries not to do enough to stop migrants crossing into England from France. In the agreement, France also commits to establishing more contact points for migrants in southern France to discourage refugees crossing the Mediterranean from continuing their journey to Calais and to offer them safe alternatives.

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, himself a grandson of Indian immigrants, is taking a hard line on immigration policy. He supports the plan to deport migrants to the East African country of Rwanda – regardless of their asylum status. However, the European Court of Human Rights had canceled a first scheduled flight at short notice. Since then, the judiciary has been investigating whether the plan is legal.

France wants to make deportations easier

For its part, the French government plans to introduce a new migration law in early 2023, which should facilitate evictions. Britain and France have been at odds for decades over how to deal with migrants crossing the English Channel. After fierce conflicts during the tenure of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the two countries want to come closer together under the new British Prime Minister Sunak.

Migration across the Channel – new agreement between Paris and London

Sabine Wachs, ARD Paris, 14/11/2022 11:51 am

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