To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37562 on Calais: coronavirus, what support his Department is providing to its French counterparts on the ongoing sheltering operation for displaced populations in northern France in light of its commitments under the 2018 Sandhurst Agreement.
12 May 2020
The Home Secretary and her department lead on and work closely with French authorities to manage the migratory pressures at our joint border, including during the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the terms of the 2018 Sandhurst Agreement, the UK and France have worked together to further enhance co-operation on managing the shared border. This includes strengthening co-operation around migration and facilitating access to the asylum procedure for those who seek international protection, and working to reduce the number of people crossing the border illegally, risking their own safety and lives. Following the UK-France Summit at Sandhurst in 2018, £1.1 million was committed and has since been spent to support the development of reception centres for migrants in France.
The relocation of vulnerable individuals into reception centres remains an issue of domestic responsibility for the French Government. Since the introduction of the COVID-19 measures in France on 17 March, French authorities have worked with over 600 migrants to relocate them to accommodation centres. In these centres asylum claims can be lodged, and any other urgent needs assessed.