British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo signed a joint declaration aimed at strengthening cooperation between their countries, in particular to fight against illegal immigration, a week after the death of 27 migrants in the Channel.
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The agreement, the first of its kind between our two countries, will strengthen cooperation in crucial areas such as trade, green technologies, security, health and the fight against illegal immigration
," said a statement from Downing Street , after a videoconference meeting of the two heads of government on Tuesday.
"The need to make urgent progress"
This discussion was organized a few days after a crisis meeting of European interior ministers last weekend on immigration, in the absence of the British. France had canceled the British participation in response to the publication on social networks by Boris Johnson of a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he asked him to take back immigrants arriving in Britain.
illegal immigration, the (British) Prime Minister stressed the importance of breaking the business model of human traffickers by establishing a return agreement between the UK and the EU and using all technology modern technologies available to us
, ”Downing Street said after the meeting with De Croo.
The French government has also expressed the wish to forge a “
between the European Union and the United Kingdom on illegal immigration in the Channel, but French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned on Monday that “
this can not be a simple agreement of readmission of migrants on the French territory
Each year, thousands of people attempt the perilous crossing of the Channel on fragile boats, sometimes with tragic outcomes.
Last week, 27 migrants died when their boat sank.
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This drama, the deadliest to have occurred in the English Channel, has rekindled tensions between France and the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson having made the fight against immigration his hobbyhorse in the wake of Brexit.
During their conversation, Boris Johnson and Alexander De Croo "
agreed that recent tragic developments underline the need for urgent progress in this area
The Prime Minister reaffirmed the will of the United Kingdom to work with Belgium and other European partners to achieve this
", according to Downing Street, specifying that "
their respective ministers should meet soon to advance this work