Britain strikes deal with France to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel

A migrant carries her children after being helped ashore by an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness on the south east coast of England November 24, 2021 after being rescued while crossing the English Channel. - Over the past three years, the number of attempted Channel crossings by migrants has risen sharply, despite warnings about the dangers of the busy shipping route between northern France and southern England, which is subject to strong currents and low temperatures. (Photo by Ben STANSALL/AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

People are helped ashore from a lifeboat operated by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) on a beach in Dungeness on the south-east coast of England (Image: AFP)

Britain and France are close to reaching an agreement to fight “illegal migration” across the English Channel.

Suella Braverman is expected to travel to Paris to sign the joint statement saying the government would pay French officials at least £60million.

According to the Financial Times, the number of French officers patrolling English Channel beaches is set to rise from 200 to 300 by the middle of next year.

British officials are also to be stationed in French control rooms for the first time.

For weeks, the home secretary has been under increasing pressure to finally repair the asylum system, which she and her predecessor Priti Patel described as “broken”.

Reports of the deal with France come as more than 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel to Britain so far this year, according to the latest figures.

A group of people believed to be migrants are taken aboard the Dover lifeboat to Dover, Kent, following an incident involving a small boat in the canal. Picture date: Thursday November 11, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Migrants. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A group of people believed to be migrants are taken to Dover, Kent (Image: PA)

About 972 people were spotted in 22 boats on Saturday.

Interior Ministry data also shows that tens of thousands of migrants are waiting more than a year for a decision on their asylum application, and hundreds are waiting more than five years.

The number of people awaiting an initial decision on their asylum application has almost quadrupled over the past five years, from 29,522 in December 2017 to 122,206 in June 2022.

In December 2020 it was 64,891, which means it has almost doubled in the last year and a half.

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Justin Scacco

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