THE public backs Rishi Sunak’s robust legal crackdown on small boats.
We doubt that’s true of him handing the French yet another fortune to police their beaches.
We see the PM’s logic. France will not take illegal migrants back, even though that would instantly make setting sail pointless and probably kill the wicked and lethal smuggling trade overnight.
Instead we end up paying them to increase patrols, share intelligence and bolster their detention facilities.
That’s all welcome. And, who knows? It might yield some results.
But we have already paid France £250million — and 45,755 migrants still arrived illegally last year . . . the majority healthy young men fleeing nothing, whatever the social-justice mob claim.
How will Rishi judge the success of this eye-watering new bung? Cutting the influx by half?
What voters will then see is that after splurging nearly half a billion quid we still face 20,000 annual illegal arrivals.
We do applaud him for forging a new friendship with France after the Brexit bad-blood.
But frankly it’s no wonder Macron looks so cheerful.
We doubt this fresh funding will end the crisis.
But Rishi’s new law could — and no one has a better idea, least of all Labour.
Our advice to the PM is this: Focus on ramming that deterrent through Parliament and the courts.
Expecting results from French border police is a triumph of hope over experience.
Let us grow
GREAT news. Growth was healthier than economists expected in January.
Often it’s worse than they expected.
The only constant being that their expectations are wrong.
What does seem certain is our economy is more resilient to the global battering than almost anyone thought.
Which, alongside falling wholesale gas prices, gives Chancellor Jeremy Hunt room for manoeuvre in next week’s Budget.
Given our dire finances it needn’t mean cutting taxes yet, welcome though that would be.
But it would be insane to RAISE them and trample on the first glimmerings of a recovery.
Mr Hunt can still rule out such damaging hikes to corporation tax and fuel duty. And this weekend he must.
Scan the pumps
DRIVERS in Northern Ireland can shop around for the cheapest fuel before they leave the house.
And, guess what? They also enjoy the UK’s lowest prices.
That’s no coincidence. The AA reckons the province’s online fuel price checker effectively slashes 6p off a litre.
For years we have backed calls for a Pumpwatch regulator to do much the same . . . keep prices down UK-wide and expose any garages which profiteer.
The Government MUST freeze duty again.
But it’s time Pumpwatch got the nod too.