UK increases spending to stop migrant departures in Channel

There has been a surge in attempts to cross the world's busiest shipping lane

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid and French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner take part in a signing ceremony for a new action plan to strengthen efforts against migrant activity in the English Channel, in London, Britain, January 24, 2019. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
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Britain is to spend over £6 million on surveillance equipment to step up its fight against illegal migration across the Channel Sea, the worlds busiest shipping lane. After the signing of a plan between France and UK ministers, CCTV will be installed in port areas and potential embarkation points and new night goggles will be bought. The two counties will also increase intelligence sharing and migrants rescued will be taken to the nearest safe port.

“It is vital we continue to work closely with our French partners to stop vulnerable migrants making these treacherous crossings and tackle the people smugglers who are putting their lives in danger. The joint action plan strengthens our already strong relationship and increases joint action around keeping our borders secure and discouraging these dangerous journeys,” said Sajid Javid, the UK home secretary.

The deal was sealed by Mr Javid his French counterpart Christophe Castaner. Roughly half of the £6.07 million had already been pledged in January 2018.

"This agreement once again shows the UK’s commitment to managing our shared border along with us. By combating illegal Channel crossings by migrants, we’re saving lives and deterring new migrants from coming to Hauts-de-France," said Mr Castaner.

Some 504 migrants attempted to cross the Channel last year compared to only 3 the year before.


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"The best deterrent is for traffickers to know that migrants will never succeed in entering the UK. This action plan is an encouraging step forward. Returning migrants to France will have a powerful deterrent effect. The plan to disrupt traffickers on beaches is also essential," Dover & Deal MP Charlie Elphicke was quoted by The Times as saying.