Related video: Foreign secretary says government will not rest until dinghy crossings are resolved
Suella Braverman has signed a new deal with France as part of an historic crackdown on migrant crossings which will see a boost to beach patrols and British staff based in French control rooms for the first time.
The 72m euro (£63m) deal, described by prime minister Rishi Sunak as “a foundation” for more co-operation in coming months, was finalised by the home secretary and her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin on Monday morning.
Under the new deal with Paris, France will commit to increase numbers of officers patrolling beaches on the Normandy coast by 40 per cent in the hope of detecting and disrupting embarkations.
And, for the first time, UK Border Force officials will be embedded in French control centres to observe operations and share intelligence.
Earlier on Monday, foreign secretary James Cleverly said the government must “get a grip on the international trade in human misery”, with particular emphasis on people traffickers who he said “are putting lives at risk by facilitating the illegal crossing of migrants into the UK and around the world.”
Watch: Foreign secretary says government will not rest until dinghy crossings are resolved
Foreign Secretary says government will not rest until dinghy crossings are resolved
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 09:06
Cleverly insists Budget will protect most vulnerable
James Cleverly insisted that this week’s autumn budget would protect the most vulnerable while also re-balancing the nation’s finances.
The foreign secretary told Times Radio: “We will always protect the most vulnerable, always, but we also have to make sure that we balance the finances.”
Pressed on the shift in position from the Truss administration to Rishi Sunak’s plans to raise tax and cut spending, he said: “We recognise the fact that the markets did not respond in the way that any of us would have wanted to, to the fiscal statement that Kwasi (Kwarteng) put forward as chancellor. There’s no point in pretending that isn’t the case.
“What we have got to do is put forward an economic plan that protects the vulnerable and the prime minister and the chancellor have absolutely committed to do that, but also ensures that things like our national cost on borrowing remains moderate.”
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 08:55
Cleverly defends Jenrick over migrant comments
James Cleverly defended the immigration minister for comments he made over the weekend, in which Robert Jenrick insisted a move towards more basic accommodation for migrants is necessary to remove a “pull factor” for those making their way to the UK in small boats.
Mr Jenrick claimed the country’s “generosity” towards refugees is being “abused” by people “skipping the queue”, putting a strain on the immigration system.
The foreign secretary told BBC Breakfast: “Many of the people, the bulk of people attempting to get to the UK, are economic migrants rather than fleeing persecution or war. They are seeking a better life. I get that, I understand that, the UK is a wonderful place to live.
“But it is because they perceive the UK to be a very generous country, that is part of the pull factor.”
He said that migrant processing needed to be “quick and efficient”.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 08:40
Cleverly refuses to say by how much new deal will reduce number of migrant crossings
Foreign secretary James Cleverly declined to specify a target on how much a new deal with France on migrants could cut crossing numbers.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We want to bring the numbers down significantly. That is the whole point of these arrangements.
Defending the scale of spending to tackle the issue, he said: “The whole point is that we are trying to spend less money than we are currently having to spend housing migrants.”
“Whilst the numbers are unprecedented it is important to recognise that this arrangement has had a positive effect. Not at the kind of levels that we would want, which is why we have updated this agreement with France.”
He insisted that the government is “working at every point in this chain”.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 08:25
Ministers ‘going through legal processes’ to ensure Rwanda migrant flights ‘take off’
James Cleverly has said he does not know how many people the government would ultimately send to Rwanda as part of the controversial deal on migrants.
The foreign secretary told Sky News: “We’re going through legal processes to get those flights taken off.
“We will continue to put forward plans to break the economic model of the people traffickers.”
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 08:10
UK Border Force must ‘focus on job at hand’, says Cleverly as strikes loom
The foreign secretary said he wanted Border Force staff to be “focused on the job in hand”, when questioned about whether staff strikes could impact the new deal agreed with France.
James Cleverly told Sky News: “We all recognise that public servants are under pressure because of the economic situation we’re seeing right across the globe. And we absolutely recognise that.
“But ultimately, there is a really important job to do. The Border Force officials play an important part of keeping our country safe. I would want them to be focused exclusively on that and they have to recognise that this is a very difficult economic situation right across the globe.”
He said that the government would work with representative bodies to “encourage them to stay focused on the job in hand”.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 07:57
UK signs £63m deal with France to step up action on migrant boats
More now from our political editor Andrew Woodcock on the signing of the migrant deal with France:
Rishi Sunak today hailed a 72m euro (£63m) deal with Paris which will see UK officials joining operations in France for the first time to halt unauthorised Channel crossings.
The prime minister said the agreement – finalised on Monday morning by home secretary Suella Braverman and her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin – would be “a foundation” for more co-operation in coming months.
Speaking to reporters travelling with him to the G20 summit in Indonesia, Mr Sunak said it was his “absolute priority” to get a grip on the small boats issue, which had occupied more of his time since becoming PM last month than anything apart from the economy.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 07:37
Boost to beach patrols as UK signs migrant deal with France
The government has signed a new deal with France as part of an historic crackdown on migrant crossings which will see a boost to beach patrols and British staff based in French control rooms for the first time.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 07:35
Cleverly says UK must ‘get a grip on trade in human misery’
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said the government must “get a grip on the international trade in human misery” ahead of the signing of a deal with France over the number of migrants crossing the Channel.
He said international governments must target “people traffikers who are putting lives at risk by facilitating the illegal crossing of migrants into the UK and around the world.
Mr Cleverly added: “We do need to work with our international partners, including France and including the countries from which these people come, to break the business model of these people traffickers and to prevent these illegal crossing into the UK.”
Currently, about 200 gendarmes and volunteer officers patrol the French beaches, but this number is set to significantly increase once the deal comes into action, reports say.
The agreement could also see the two countries using live intelligence to track migrants’ movements across the Channel using the UK Border Force’s vessels, drones and satellite surveillance.
Emily Atkinson14 November 2022 07:28
Sunak has ‘last chance’ to save the NHS, warns union
A leading trade union is giving a message to the Prime Minister today that strikes may be the only option to save the NHS.
As growing numbers of health workers vote on industrial action, Unite will launch an advertising campaign across the country calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to use this week’s autumn statement to avert a funding crisis “engulfing” the NHS.
Read the full story here:
Maroosha Muzaffar14 November 2022 07:00