Michael Fabricant MP says more needs to be done to tackle immigration after landmark deal

Britain faces an "insurmountable problem" in its efforts to tackle illegal immigration despite a new deal with France to clamp down on Channel crossings, Staffordshire MP Michael Fabricant has said.

Migrants wait to be processed after being brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel on November 4. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Migrants wait to be processed after being brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel on November 4. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A £63 million agreement signed by Home Secretary Suella Braverman will see a huge increase in the number of officers patrolling beaches in northern France to stop small boats leaving.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said that while the move was a "step in the right direction", more needed to be done to block illegal immigrants from pouring into the country.

The number of people crossing the Channel into Britain in small boats this year has topped 40,000. Under the revised deal Britain will pay France an extra £8m a year, with 100 additional French officers expected to be patrolling the coast within five months.

Mr Fabricant told the Express & Star: "It is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

"The problem is there is a couple of hundred miles of French coastline and as the French Interior Minister has said, even if every single French gendarme was directed to the north French coast they still could not stop every boat from leaving.

"The insurmountable problem we have is that there are no international waters to push boats back into as they do in Australia. I am conscious, however, that most of these migrants are not escaping persecution.

"Their continued arrival is putting additional strain on social services, the NHS and our education system. It has to be stopped."

As well as the ramped up surveillance of French beaches, the deal will also see UK police officers observing patrols from within France.

Speaking in the Commons this week, Ms Braverman said that while the deal would not "fix the problem" it was a "big step forward".

"For the first time under this new integrated approach, UK officers will join law enforcement colleagues in France as embedded observers to share real-time information relating to small boats," she said.

"The deal will include significant investment in intelligence capability and information sharing that all agencies will use, including the National Crime Agency and Europol.

"I believe that this is a big step forward and I encourage everyone here to get behind it."

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