By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 November 2022 • 20:10
Turkish police arrest man suspected of planting bomb that killed six in Istanbul
In an unusual agreement both groups agree that the deal is more of the same and will do little to deal with the problem of people trafficking or to save lives.
Addressing the home secretary, in the House of Commons, Tim Loughton, a senior home affairs select committee member asked: “Can you confirm that there is nothing in this agreement today which obliges the French police to detain and arrest anybody they intercept, so that they are free to come back the following night and try again, in which case are we not throwing good money after bad?”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman disagrees saying that the deal will go a long way in stemming the tide of migrants.
Natalie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, also questioned whether the bilateral agreement will do enough. She said it did not appear to establish joint patrols or to guarantee that people smugglers would be detained.
He added: “It doesn’t match the scale or urgency of the small boats crisis, or the increased risk of loss of life as winter approaches.
“What’s needed is a step change in approach, with joint border patrols and a Channel-wide joint security zone.”
To make matters worse, Prime Minster Rishi Sunak said that he could not guarantee that the new deal would deliver results this or next year.
The deal came over the weekend after a thawing of relations between the leaders of the two countries, Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron appearing to “hit it off.”
In addition to the additional staff the two countries have pledged to better use technological means to try and detect, monitor and intercept boats headed out of French territorial waters.
That will also see the two countries working more closely to share intelligence in an effort to catch and put out of business, people traffickers. The deal will also see for the first-time observers will be deployed on both sides of the Channel to “strengthen common understanding,” improve the debriefings of migrants and increase exchanges of information.
The deal was signed in Paris by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and British counterpart Suella Braverman.
According to the Telegraph newspaper on Saturday, November 12, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to step up efforts to stop illegal migrants from crossing the English Channel.
Among the agreements expected to be announced are the establishment of a joint control centre where British immigration officials will be stationed, as well a significant increase in the number of French Officers and volunteers who patrol the countries beaches.
The deal could also see the increased use of drones and other surveillance equipment to detect migrants and traffickers hiding in the dunes.
The reports follow Friday’s announcement that British foreign minister James Cleverly and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna that stressed the “urgency of tackling all forms of illegal migration.”
Officials from both sides have declined to comment, however, some British sources have told the newspaper the two countries are close to a deal.
The issue has been a major thorn in the side of the British government, largely elected on the promise that they would take control of the UK’s borders.
So far, some 40,000 migrants have made the crossing this year resulting in a deterioration in the relationship between the two countries. The situation is said to have improved since the appointment of Sunak as prime minister.
With many failed attempts to deal with the issue, it remains to be seen whether the UK and France are able to strike a deal on migrants that is effective.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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