UK agrees £45m deal to boost security at French border

Posted On: 
18th January 2018

The UK will spend an extra £44.5m on border security in France in a bid to ensure checks continue on the other side of the Channel, it has emerged.

In return Emmanuel Macron is expected to loan the UK the Bayeux Tapestry
PA Images

The cash is part of an agreement with French president Emmanuel Macron which will also see the UK pledge millions in aid and deploy Chinook helicopters to help France tackle Islamists in Africa.

At a summit with Theresa May today, the president will confirm that the Bayeux Tapestry - which depicts the Norman Conquest of England - will be put on display in Britain for the first time in return.

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But according to the Times, his demands for cash to rejuvenate the ailing Calais economy will be rebuffed by the Prime Minister - with one official telling the paper the request was “politically unsaleable”.

The border security cash will go on CCTV, fencing and infrared detection technology in Calais and other border points in northern France.

According to the BBC the UK is also expected to commit to taking more migrants from Calais - especially children who are unaccompanied.

The deal is a bid to keep in place the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which established UK and French border checks at the point of departure.

Mr Macron previously said he wanted to renegotiate or scrap the agreement as it was leading to undocumented migrants setting up camps at border zones.

A government spokeswoman said the new border cash - on top of £100m spent over the past three years - was "about investing in and enhancing the security of the UK border".

"Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the UK, it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at the UK border controls in France and Belgium to ensure they are as secure as possible," they added.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Mrs May said: "Today's summit will underline that we remain committed to defending our people and upholding our values as liberal democracies in the face of any threat, whether at home or abroad.

"But our friendship has always gone far beyond defence and security and the scope of today's discussions represents its broad and unique nature."