Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed a new migrant deal on Monday that could see British border officials embedded with their French counterparts. Downing Street said that Britain and France were in the “final stages” of a deal to tackle the rise in small boat crossings.
Mr Sunak and Mr Macron met face-to-face for the first time at the COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Prime Minister said that he was leaving with “renewed confidence and optimism” that by working with the French and other European countries “we can make a difference, grip this challenge of illegal migration and stop people coming illegally”.
As part of the deal, UK Border Force and immigration intelligence officials could join French patrols as “observers” in an attempt to stop migrants crossing the English Channel.
Currently, around 44 percent of migrants are stopped from leaving France by the authorities.
However, although France has prevented 29,000 migrants from crossing the Channel, just under 40,000 have reached the UK.
According to The Daily Telegraph, there were 6,273 migrants who crossed the Channel in August compared to 3,015 in August 2021.
This was a significant increase from July when 3,683 crossed the Channel.
Ministers are also considering a proposal for a “joint control centre” to control operations in the Channel which would include patrols, drones and satellite surveillance.
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“And I think there is an opportunity for us to work closely, not just with the French but with other countries as well.”
It comes as immigration minister Robert Jenrick has hinted that large asylum centres could be built around the UK.
He said that he was aiming to “exit” migrants from hotels as soon as possible and was looking at “larger sites that provide decent but not luxurious accommodation”.