UK premier offers 5-step plan to France on irregular migration

Boris Johnson says building existing cooperation between UK, France could address illegal migration, prevent tragedies

2021-11-26 02:58:48

ANKARA 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a five-step plan Thursday to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to prevent irregular migration. 

"Tonight I have written to President Macron offering to move further and faster to prevent Channel crossings and avoid a repeat of yesterday's appalling tragedy," Johnson said on Twitter.

He was referencing an accident during the dangerous crossings to reach the UK, where 31 migrants were reported dead as a boat capsized off the French coast of Calais.

Johnson said the steps should be taken "as soon as possible," including joint patrols; deploying advanced technology, like sensors and radar; reciprocal maritime patrols; deepening the work of our Joint Intelligence Cell, with better real-time intelligence-sharing; immediate work on a bilateral returns agreement with France, alongside talks to establish a UK-EU returns agreement and an agreement with France to take back migrants who cross the Channel through the dangerous route.

He added that if those who reach this country were "swiftly returned the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of traffickers would be significantly reduced."

Johnson said he is confident that taking the steps and building on existing cooperation between the UK and France could address "illegal migration and prevent more families from experiencing the devastating loss we saw yesterday."