UK agrees to send France eye-watering £54M in last-ditch deal to tackle new migrant surge
Migrant crossings: Host on 'controversial' legislation
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Home Secretary Priti Patel and France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin sealed the agreement to crackdown on the illegal crossings. More than 8,000 migrants have succeeded in making the dangerous trip so far this year.
The number of crossings has increased in recent days as temperatures rocket in the UK and Europe.
On Monday, at least 430 people, including women and young children, made the journey, a new record for a single day.
Earlier today multiple dinghy boats, mostly carrying young men, were seen arriving at shores in Dungeness and in Dover.
The new deal agreed with the French border force will double the number of police patrolling French beaches.
Ms Patel said that British people have “had enough of illegal migration and the exploitation of migrants by criminal gangs”.
Under the newly-agreed package, French officers will patrol wider areas of coastline across the northern coast between Boulogne and Dunkirk and patrols will be expanded further north-west around Dieppe.
There is also to be improved coverage via surveillance technology of the coast of France and investment in infrastructure is to increase to try and bolster border security at key border crossing points along the Channel coast.
It comes as MPs debate the Government’s new proposals for immigration.
The Home Office has put forward a Nationality and Borders Bill, which includes clauses to allow the UK to be able to send asylum seekers to a “safe third country” and to submit claims at a “designated place” determined by the Secretary of State.
The legislation would also give border officials the powers to turn migrants away from the UK while at sea, and making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission.
Sentences for convicted people smugglers would also be increased from the maximum 14 years which is currently in place.
Ms Patel said: “The British people have simply had enough of illegal migration and the exploitation of migrants by criminal gangs.
Illegal immigration is driven by serious organised criminals and people smugglers.
“The public are rightly angry that small boats are arriving on our shores, facilitated by appalling criminal gangs who profit from human misery and put lives at risk.
“The Government is addressing the challenge of illegal migration for the first time in over two decades through comprehensive reform of our asylum system which will enable us to going after the gangs exploiting people, deter illegal entry into the UK, introduce new and tougher criminal offences for those attempting to enter the UK illegally and strengthen our ability to remove those with no legal right to be in the UK.”
This is a developing news story, more to follow.
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