More Security Planned for Calais

May and Marcon
May and Marcon

By The Maritime Executive 01-18-2018 03:08:03

The U.K. Government has announced it will commit an extra £44.5 million ($62 million) on extra CCTV, fencing and infra-red technology on Channel border security in Calais.

Speaking on Thursday from Sandhurst Military Academy with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The U.K. and France share a belief in a comprehensive approach to mass migration. And as our efforts in the Sahel and across Africa demonstrate, we will work together to address the instability which fuels it. President Macron and I have both confirmed that the U.K. and France remain committed to the principles of the longstanding Le Touquet agreement, under which the U.K. is able to carry out full border checks on French soil.”

In 2016, more than 56,000 attempts by clandestines to cross the Channel were stopped at the U.K.’s juxtaposed border controls.

“The U.K. and France also share a determination to tackle the people traffickers and migrant smugglers who exploit the misery of those making the perilous journey to Europe,” said May. “We are committed to working closely together to close down the networks of smugglers who seek to profit from the misery of others.”

Macron has been outspoken in his desire to see Britain increase its spending as part of the Le Touquet agreement, a reciprocal agreement which also allows France to check people traveling from the U.K. to France and into Europe.

A U.K. Government spokesperson said: “This is about investing in and enhancing the security of the U.K. border. Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the U.K., it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at the U.K. border controls in France and Belgium to ensure they are as secure as possible.”

Responding to today's announcement on border security and cooperation, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association, said: "We welcome any measures that smooth the flow of trade and passengers at the border. Extra security at the Port of Calais is a good thing, but Ministers must ensure that in forthcoming Brexit negotiations and in any further bilateral discussions, Government intervention at the border is kept to a minimum. 95 percent of U.K. trade  flows through our ports, and it is vital that goods and passengers are allowed to move as quickly as possible."