Boris Johnson asked France to “take back” its immigrants who cross the English Channel and reach the territory of Great Britain. The British prime minister wrote a letter to Emmanuel Macron in which he presented five steps that would avoid tragedies such as Wednesday, when 27 people lost their lives trying to travel from France to Britain, he writes. BBC,
In a letter to the French President, Boris Johnson says an agreement by which those crossing the English Channel will be sent back to France “will have an immediate and significant effect.” The document published on Twitter by the British Prime Minister contains the following proposals:
– joint patrols to prevent migrant boats from leaving beaches in French territory;
– Implementation of more advanced technologies such as sensors and radar to identify those trying to cross the English Channel;
– reciprocal maritime patrol in each other’s territorial waters and aerial surveillance;
– Deepening the work of the General Information Cell of the countries
– Immediate preparation of an agreement to repatriate migrants to French territory.
British officials are due to travel to France on Thursday evening to discuss with French officials how to better manage migrants.
British Home Minister Priti Patel and her French counterpart Gerald Dormanin will also meet this Sunday to discuss the issue.
Wednesday’s incident marked the biggest loss of life by a drowning in the English Channel and involved 17 men, seven women – one pregnant – and three children.
The English Channel is one of the busiest waterways in the world, and the currents are strong, so overloaded inflatable boats often run the risk of sinking. Although French police are blocking more crossings than in previous years, the flow of migrants seeking to reach Britain has only been partially halted, becoming one of many sources of tension between Paris and London.
After an emergency government meeting on Wednesday, Johnson said it was important to intensify efforts to break up the network of “gangsters” sending people to sea. He acknowledged that efforts so far have not been enough to stop the flow of migrants crossing the English Channel with small boats and Britain is offering to increase its support for France.
Macron called an emergency meeting of “European ministers concerned with the challenge of migration” in response to Wednesday’s tragedy. He also promised to find those responsible for the deaths, adding that French authorities were doing everything possible to do so.
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