UK taxpayers' money goes towards vehicles and equipment
France has utilized funding from the UK to enhance its border security with Italy, located 560 miles away from the English Channel. A significant portion of the £46.5 million provided by the UK was allocated towards the purchase of vehicles and drones to strengthen the border. Documents confirm that the money from UK taxpayers went to a division of the French police force responsible for managing arrivals at the southeastern border.
French investment focuses on equipment rather than manpower
In addition to vehicles and drones, the French authorities also invested heavily in equipment rather than relying solely on manpower. This included the purchase of office items, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, e-scooters, and quad bikes. Moreover, £130,000 was allocated for new riding boots, helmets, and gear for a mounted border unit.
UK contributions make up a significant portion of France's border budget
According to figures, British funding will account for approximately one-tenth of France's entire budget for border security this year. These substantial sums were provided as part of the 2018 Sandhurst Treaty, a negotiation between former UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Investment in Italian border justified by potential migration to the UK
A source from the French Interior Ministry explained that the expenditure on border security with Italy is logical as many immigrants who arrive in Italy often make their way to the UK. Therefore, the investment serves to address this migration trend.
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