James Cleverly discusses migrant crossing deal with France
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A majority of voters don’t believe Suella Braverman’s French migrant deal will solve the issue, while a Tory MP described it as “unsustainable”. An exclusive poll, conducted by Techne UK on behalf of Express.co.uk, saw 62 percent of voters say they do not think the recently signed deal will be enough to stop the crisis. Just 28 percent of respondents backed the deal.
A further 10 percent said they didn’t know.
The poll comes just a week after Britain and France signed a £62million deal to curb the surge in Channel migrants.
Negotiations had been going on for months before an agreement was finally unveiled last week.
Details of the plan came as official figures show more than 40,000 people made the deadly crossing so far this year – up from 28,526 in 2021.
The expanded agreement includes an increase in payments from London to Paris and a much closer relationship between border policing teams.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman travelled to be in the French capital to sign the deal alongside French interior minister Gérald Darmanin.
The multimillion-pound plan represents one of the largest sums ever handed over to the French by British taxpayers.
But Tory MP Marco Longhi told Express.co.uk that the deal is “completely unsustainable and will not produce the results that we want”.
When asked if the deal is likely to be successful, Mr Longhi said: “No of course its not! Because what we have tried with France before and paying the money has not worked.
“So what will work is what has happened elsewhere, whether it be Australia or Greece.
“You need to have sufficiently strong deterrents to stop people from making the deterrents in the first place. I’m sorry, having a few more people walking down the beach is not going to help.
“Are we literally going to have hundreds of miles of beach being patrolled 24/7? It’s completely unsustainable and will not produce the results that we want.”
He added: “I understand why the Home Sec wants to try absolutely everything. I do still very much support Suella. But she will have heard from me and several other colleagues that we certainly believe this isn’t going to happen and isn’t going to work.”
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A French diplomatic source said the UK’s annual contribution to policing the border will rise from around £54million last year to just above £62million.
The source said: “The focus will be on breaking up the people smuggling gangs, using better surveillance, including more drones.”
A Government source hailed the deal as a “good step forward” but added: “It needs to be followed up with a broader deal.”
However, the Migrant Voice charity has described the Government’s anti-migrant policies as being “ineffective and cruel”, accusing the Government of violating “basic human rights”.
Meanwhile, Policy and advocacy manager at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Caitlin Boswell, added: “From the unliveable conditions at Manston to Ms Braverman’s recent hateful rhetoric, many of us have been horrified by the way this government have demonised and degraded people seeking safety here.”
Rishi Sunak told reporters at the G20 summit that he was “confident” the number of small boat crossings would come down as a result of the deal.
But he warned that the situation cannot be fixed “overnight”.
Of those who voted to leave in the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Techne UK poll found that 67 percent of people do not believe the new deal will solve the problem.
Just 25 percent of 2016 leave voters thought it would solve the crisis.
Mr Sunak has said that tackling migration is an “absolute priority”.
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