After years of tumultuous relations between France and the United Kingdom, the two countries met again on the sidelines of a Franco-British bilateral summit in Paris on Friday (10), the first high-level meeting in five years.
Among the various issues addressed, the new multi-million dollar contract stands out the most Stop illegal immigration across the English Channel between the two countries.
London has agreed to provide around 540 million euros so that over the next three years, Paris can invest in the technology and policing needed to stop migrants from crossing illegally into the UK.
In a document released by the British government, the United Kingdom commits to funding a migrant detention centre.
The UK will help fund a detention center in France to increase the country’s capacity to deal with the volume of people trafficked across the English Channel. The new center will support French efforts to increase detention capacity and allow more migrants from French shores to take dangerous and illegal routes to the UK.
The issue is one of the priorities of Rishi Sunak, who with this move wants to send a signal to the far-right fringe of his electorate ahead of next year’s elections.
For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron said the two countries must “progress in sync” to combat illegal immigration, but reiterated that France would not accept migrants trying to cross the English Channel.
Although political leaders such as the Italian, Matteo Salvini, and the French, Eric Zemor, welcomed the decision, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) criticized the move.
The issue of illegal immigration in the English Channel is at the center of attention of France and the United Kingdom. Last year alone, around 46,000 people managed to cross the Channel and 30,000 were stopped.
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