Britain to pay France $73 million to help block migrant arrivals

Britain has agreed to pay France 54 million pounds ($73 million) to help clamp down on migrants crossing the English Channel by boat.

About 430 people arrived in Britain on 14 boats Monday, and another 287 aboard 12 Tuesday, according to the official figures. The Times of London, which has been tracking the situation, said the number had risen to 8,474 this year. That is already higher than last year’s 8,420 arrivals. Yet while boat arrivals have been rising, the overall number of asylum applications fell 24% in the year ending March 2021, compared with a year earlier. That number has continued to drop this year, according to government statistics.

As part of the British-French agreement, reached Tuesday, France will “be able to respond by posting more security forces further up the coast, installing and utilizing the latest surveillance equipment throughout northern France,” said the Home Office, which oversees Britain’s immigration policies.

The legislation, which will take months to come into effect, was approved on a vote of 366-265, despite being denounced by the opposition Labour Party. The measure makes a distinction between people who arrive in the country through resettlement programs and those who arrive by other means [Seattle Times].


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