UK and France Agree Tougher Patrols To Thwart Migrant Channel Crossings.
France and Britain signed off on a deal on to increase patrols in a bid to stop people, specifically migrants, from trying to cross the sometimes trecherous English Channel. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel had agreed to spend €31.4 million ($41 million) on northern French coastal surveillance to make Channel crossing “unviable,” Britain’s Home Office stated.
Patel explained to the British media that French authorities had already stopped more than 5,000 migrants from crossing to the UK in January. The extra funding was to double French shore patrols and to purchase new equipment, including radar and drones. The extra funding comes on top of 150 million pounds ($200 million, €167 million) given to France over the last ten years, she said, adding that “we are already seeing fewer migrants leaving French beaches.”
With ferry traffic throttled by coronavirus restrictions, many migrants have turned to the use of small boats organized by people smugglers in order to cross the Channel. Last month, a family from Iran, including two parents and their children aged 6 and 9, died when their boat capsized in the Channel — one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. Presumably drowned was their missing 15-month-old son.
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