The UK’s new migrant deal with France: what will change and how much will it cost?

The UK’s new migrant deal with France: what will change and how much will it cost?

The Government has signed a deal with its French counterpart to try to prevent small boats from crossing the English Channel.

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman is in France to finalise the deal with the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

“We must do everything we can to stop people making these dangerous journeys and crack down on the criminal gangs,” Ms Braverman said. “This is a global challenge requiring global solutions, and it is in the interests of both the UK and French governments to work together to solve this complex problem.

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.”

What will change under the new agreement with France?

The deal is worth €72.2 million (£63 million) in 2022 to 2023, up from €62.7 million (£54.8 million) in 2021-22.

The number of patrols trying to detect small boats about to leave from France will increase by 40 per cent. They will include UK personnel for the first time.

Migrants land in Dover: November 2021

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI, following a small boat incident in the Channel after 27 people died yesterday in the worst-recorded migrant tragedy in the Channel (PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI, following a small boat incident in the Channel after 27 people died yesterday in the worst-recorded migrant tragedy in the Channel (PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI (PA Wire)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI (PA Wire)
French police stand near as a group of more than 40 migrants run with an inflatable dinghy, to leave the coast of northern France and to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France (REUTERS)
French police stand near as a group of more than 40 migrants run with an inflatable dinghy, to leave the coast of northern France and to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France (REUTERS)
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French officials said the number of officers would increase from 200 to 300 by the middle of next year, according to the Financial Times.

The Government hopes to improve communication between the UK and France by deploying UK officers alongside their French counterparts.

The UK-France Joint Intelligence Cell will also be expanded, and surveillance technology such as drones, detection dog teams, CCTV and helicopters will be introduced to detect boat crossings.

The Government will also establish a new task force which will focus on “reversing the recent rise in Albanian nationals and organised crime groups exploiting illegal migration routes into Western Europe and the UK”.

As per Government figures released earlier in November, Albanians made up 42 per cent of people travelling on small boats between May and September this year.

The Government said: “The UK’s work with international partners is a key part of the government’s wide-ranging approach to fix the broken asylum system, break the business model of people smugglers facilitating these journeys and clamp down on illegal migration.”