Britain and France on Monday signed an agreement aimed at fighting against illegal migration via the English Channel, which has long been a point of friction between the two countries.
Britain will commit 72.2 million euros (about 74.3 million U.S. dollars) in 2022-2023 following the deal signed by British Home Secretary Suella Braverman and her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin in Paris, Britain’s Home Office said in a statement.
It said the number of French officers deployed to patrol French beaches will increase by 40 percent in the next five months.
“It is in the interests of both the United Kingdom (UK) and French governments to work together to solve this complex problem,” Braverman said in a statement.
“There are no quick fixes, but this new arrangement will mean we can significantly increase the number of French gendarmes patrolling the beaches in northern France and ensure UK and French officers are working hand in hand to stop the people smugglers,” she added.
More than 40,000 migrants had made the perilous crossing of the Channel in makeshift boats to reach Britain so far this year, compared to 28,526 crossings recorded during the whole of last year, which was already a record then, latest figures from Britain’s Ministry of Defense showed. ■