Rishi Sunak came under fire from his own MPs today after refusing to guarantee that Channel migrant numbers will come down despite the UK handing over £63million a year to France under a new deal.
The PM dodged any firm promises as he hailed ‘progress’, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman sealing a pact that will see a 40 per cent boost in the number of patrols on beaches.
British staff will also be embedded in French control rooms for the first time after the number of people making the perilous journey to the UK so far this year topped 40,000.
Further measures signed off in Paris include an investment in CCTV and dog detection teams to keep tabs on ports and plans to equip officers with drones and night vision capabilities.
Meanwhile, Britain and France have agreed to step up co-operation on the issue with European partners, with a meeting of the ‘Calais Group’ of neighbouring countries to be scheduled as soon as possible.
Ms Braverman conceded that the deal will not ‘fix the problem’, but insisted it is a ‘big step forward’.
However, despite the extra cash there will not be joint patrols between French and UK officers after Paris apparently vetoed the idea. And no targets are being set for reducing the flows across the border.
Tory MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke warned that the action ‘doesn’t match the scale or urgency of the small-boats crisis’. She has been arguing for joint border patrols and a Channel-wide joint security zone.
Read More: Ministers admit Channel migrant deal WON’T ‘fix the problem’ despite UK handing France £63m a year