British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent a letter requesting French President Emmanuel Macron to take back migrants who arrived in the UK by boat. French recalls will discourage migrants from making the dangerous crossing of the Channel in the future, Johnson argues. He expects that the number of migrants crossing over will fall “significantly” as a result.
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The British Prime Minister responds in the letter published on Thursday evening on Wednesday’s shipwreck drama, in which at least 27 people on board were killed. Johnson makes some proposals to Macron to prevent a repeat of the incident. For example, he wants British border patrols to check each other’s territorial waters around the coast “jointly or mutually” with French colleagues.
Johnson also advocates investments in radar technologies and ground sensors. According to Johnson, the main measure to block the sea route is for France to take back migrants who have arrived in the UK. The French will thus take the wind out of the sails of the revenue model of people smugglers, according to the British Prime Minister.
The French have not yet responded to the proposals. Macron did say earlier that he saw the benefit of more cooperation between neighboring European countries to stem illegal migration. He also said he wants to intensify control around the coastlines, including with drones. The French president called France a “transit country” for migrants who want to enter British territory. Delegates from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the British will meet on Sunday to discuss the migration issue.
On Wednesday, 34 migrants from northern France attempted to reach British territory. The dinghy they were in was presumably hit by a cargo ship en route. The boat carrying the migrants capsized and at least 27 of them were killed.
The number of passengers who dare to cross the Channel has increased in recent months. More than 25,000 migrants have arrived on the island this year, according to British authorities, compared to 8,400 last year. For Wednesday’s incident, the death toll stood at three; last year six migrants were killed.
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