Shipwreck off Calais: Boris Johnson calls on France to take back all migrants crossing the Channel

The British Prime Minister offered Emmanuel Macron a “bilateral readmission agreement to allow the return of all illegal migrants crossing the Channel”.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday 25 November asked French President Emmanuel Macron to take back migrants arriving in England from France, the day after a shipwreck in the Channel which 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 the French head of state posted on Twitter.

Recalling that “The EU has readmission agreements with countries like Belarus and the Russian Federation”, Boris Johnson a dit “to hope that such an agreement can also be concluded with the United Kingdom quickly”. “This measure would have an immediate effect and would dramatically reduce – if not stop – crossings, saving lives by fundamentally breaking the business model of criminal gangs.”, he added.

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.

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