The United Kingdom and France have announced plans to "tackle" the migration crisis in the English Channel under a new deal aimed primarily at preventing migrants from departing French shores.
U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled details of the pact which she reached with French Interior Minister French Gérald Darmanin.
France has agreed to double the number of officers monitoring French beaches.
“This will bolster the patrolling of the 150-kilometre stretch of coastline regularly targeted by people-smuggling networks and enable quicker response rates to suspicious activity, stopping migrants leaving French beaches in the first place and preventing more dangerous and unnecessary crossings," the Home Office explained in a statement.
“In addition to increased officer numbers, the Home Secretary and Interior Minister also agreed an enhanced package of cutting edge surveillance technology - including drones, radar equipment, optronic binoculars and fixed cameras. The specialist equipment will allow the French to be more efficient in searching and clearing areas faster and help ensure officers are deployed in the right place at the right time, as a result increasing the number of migrants and facilitators detected and prevented from entering the water.”
"Today’s agreement is a significant moment for our 2 countries, stepping up our joint action to tackle illegal migration," said Patel. "Thanks to more police patrols on French beaches and enhanced intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies, we are already seeing fewer migrants leaving French beaches."
“The actions we have agreed jointly today go further, doubling the number of police officers on the ground in France, increasing surveillance and introducing new cutting edge technology, representing a further step forward in our shared mission to make channel crossings completely unviable.”
Patel also said she plans to introduce legislation to create a new asylum system that is "firm and fair" next year.
France has vowed to work towards moving "migrants into appropriate accommodation in France in order to take them out of the hands of criminal gangs," and advising them on how to claim asylum in a safe third country.
Brexit architect Nigel Farage almost single-handedly raised considerable awareness about the flood of migrants and human smugglers pouring across the English Channel this year, recently exposing the Channel migration crisis as an operation which both the U.K. and French governments have actively facilitated.
In a video report titled, "I caught the French Navy cheating," Farage and his team monitored a French naval ship shadowing a small boat laden with migrants as it crossed the Channel into British waters and was picked up by a U.K. Border Force vessel.
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