British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on French President Emmanuel Macron to take back migrants arriving in England from France, in the aftermath of a shipwreck in the English Channel that saw 27 people lose their lives.
“I propose that we put in place a bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel,” detailed the British leader in a letter to his counterpart, posted on Twitter.
My letter to President Macron. pic.twitter.com/vXH0jpxzPo
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 25, 2021
A measure with immediate effect?
Recalling that “the EU has concluded readmission agreements with countries such as Belarus and the Russian Federation”, Mr Johnson said “hoped that such an agreement could also be concluded with the United Kingdom soon”.
“This measure would have an immediate effect and would drastically reduce – if not stop – crossings, saving lives by fundamentally breaking the business model of criminal gangs,” he added.
Deadliest drama since 2018
The statement comes as London and Paris have so far tried to silence their disagreements and improve international coordination after a ship sank on Wednesday in the English Channel, which resulted in the deaths of 27 migrants.
This tragedy is the deadliest since the increase in 2018 in migratory crossings of the Channel, in the face of the growing lockdown of the French port of Calais and the rail tunnel, used until then by migrants trying to reach England. Among the victims are 17 men, 7 women and 3 young people, as well as 2 survivors, according to a French judicial source.