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France & UK Join Forces to Prevent Illegal Channel Crossings

The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel and the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, have agreed that more should be done to prevent illegal crossings at the Channel that sets the countries apart.

“Both the home secretary and interior Minister agreed to strengthen operational cooperation further. More must be done to stop the dangerous crossings. They agreed to accelerate the delivery of the commitments made in the joint agreement of July 2021 to deliver on their joint determination to prevent 100 per cent of crossings and make this deadly route unviable,” the joint statement issued by both authorities said.

Several steps to tackle the issue have been proposed and discussed, with both parties agreeing that a joint technical working group should soon meet to determine a new technology as soon as possible, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Moreover, both ministers vowed to commit to reinforcing intelligence sharing and police cooperation.  However, this hasn’t always been the case as tension emerged between both parties in the past.

Last month, the French Minister called on his counterpart and the British government to pay the amount of €63 million (£54 million) as the agreement cited. The parties had signed an agreement through which the UK would pay the amount in order for French border controls to hold migrant flux from reaching the British shores.

“Why do people go to Calais? It’s to go to Great Britain. And why do they want to go to Great Britain? It’s because the labour market largely works in Great Britain thanks to a large army or reserves – as Karl Marx said – of people in an irregular situation but who can work at a low cost, obviously,” French Minister previously said.

He also noted that Brits must stop using France as “a punching bag for their domestic politics” and that the smugglers who organize the irregular migration are often found in British territory. He also said that if the UK had tightened the laws, there wouldn’t be people in Calais or Dunkirk.

According to the Guardian, about 1,185 people crossed the Channel by boat last week, marking a record for crossings in a single day. Three people were reported drowned in the sea lane, and over 23,000 people have made it to the other side of the shore until now.  Moreover, this rate was set at 8,400 in 2020 – 63.4 per cent less than this year. The British government has accused France of mismanaging the situation.

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