The government has signed a new £63 million agreement with France that will involve the UK paying for 40 per cent more French officers to patrol their own beaches, British officers stationed in French control rooms, and extra drones, night-vision goggles and other surveillance equipment.
However, it provoked a backlash after it emerged it will not enable migrants to be deported back to France.
There is also the obvious question of why we could give more taxpayer money to France when the problem has continued to get worse despite having already handed over £160 million since 2018.
After all 80,000 people have entered via dinghy since the start of 2018, and illicit arrivals are nearly 50% higher than last year’s record total (42,000 versus 28,500).
Here is a summary of the money forked over to Paris even as boat crossings shot up:
2018: £45.5 million, handed over by then-Prime Minister Theresa May as part of Sandhurst Treaty, signed in January 2018 (source).
2019: £3.25 million (source).
2020: £54 million (source).
2021: £55 million (source). This was the same year that the UK and France reached an agreement, they said, to ‘prevent 100% of Channel crossings.’
Total [2018-2021] = £157.8 million
Now we are giving £63 million more.
Grand total [2018-2022] = £220.8 million