The United Kingdom has reached an agreement to pay France roughly $70 million to tamp down on the number of migrants crossing the English Channel.
The New York Times reports that this agreement, reached on Tuesday, comes as hundreds of migrants crossed into the United Kingdom by boat this week. Around 430 people on 14 boats arrived Monday and nearly 300 arrived the following day.
The Times notes that similar attempts to reduce the number of crossings failed last year. The United Kingdom is currently considering a bill that would potentially imprison migrants who arrive by crossing the English Channel for up to four years.
According to Great Britain’s Home Office, France will now “be able to respond by posting more security forces further up the coast, installing and utilizing the latest surveillance equipment throughout northern France.”
Despite these measures and the recent increase in crossings, overall asylum applications this year in Britain are down.
French MP Pierre-Henri Dumont has expressed doubts over the deal, arguing that the French coastline is simply too big for it to work, the BBC reports.
“The fact is, we’ve seen it before. Having more money, having more police officers, having more controls, will not prevent people to succeed in these crossing attempts,” Dumont told BBC’s “Today.”
“We have too many kilometers of shore to monitor,” he said.