UK and France sign tough new anti-immigration deal

The war on refugees and asylum seekers intensified this week with the revised agreement between the UK and France, intended to prevent thousands of desperate people from crossing the English Channel.

On Monday, after months of negotiations, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman met French Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin to approve an increase in payments from 55 to 63 million pounds a year to prevent refugees to enter Britain. The deal was finalized after final talks between British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna.

Since London started paying Paris in 2018 to prevent migrants from reaching British shores, the total costs for the UK have reached 200 million euros.

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman and French Home Secretary Gérald Darmanin sign the new anti-immigration agreement. [Photo du ministère de l’Intérieur du Royaume-Uni / CC BY 2.0 ] [Photo by UK Home Office / CC BY 2.0]

The deal funds a 40 percent increase in the number of police patrolling French beaches (from 200 to 300) and increased use of high-tech equipment like drones and night vision cameras. Britain’s Home Office said it would fund new investment “in state-of-the-art surveillance technology, drones, detection dog teams, video surveillance and helicopters to help detect and prevent crossings.” [de la Manche]”.

His statement boasted that: “The arrangement means that, for the first time, specialist British officers will also be brought in [dans les salles de contrôle françaises] with their French counterparts, which will increase information sharing, improve understanding of the threat and ensure that British expertise is at the heart of efforts to disrupt crossing points and crack down on smugglers. This more integrated approach will also include enhanced operational cooperation, including joint UK-France analysis teams supporting coordination and information exchange by French command HQ. »

Britain would support “reception and removal centers in France for migrants whose journeys to the UK are prevented, to further deter attempted crossings”.

The new funding and measures to trample on the democratic rights of asylum seekers are in place despite the existing repressive machinery, which already prevents, as the UK Home Secretary has boasted, “over 30,000 illegal crossing attempts since the beginning of the year – more than 50% more than at the same stage last year”.

The crackdown in preparation aims to entirely halt the remaining tens of thousands making the perilous crossings. The number of people who have reached British shores is only 40,000 so far this year, compared to the millions of refugees seeking to flee their countries destroyed by imperialist wars, direct or by proxy.

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UK and France sign tough new anti-immigration deal

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