Tragedy in the Channel, continued.

Yesterday, following the tragic loss of life in the Channel on Wednesday, the Prime Minister wrote to the French President to offer to move further and faster to prevent Channel crossings and stop the criminal gangs responsible.  

The loss of life in the Channel on Wednesday was an appalling tragedy – we must increase our efforts to break the criminal business model of people smugglers and prevent further tragedies.

The Prime Minister wrote to the French President to suggest joint patrols in UK and French territorial waters, the deployment of advanced technology – including ground sensors and radar, airborne surveillance by manned and unmanned aircraft, and deepening the work of our Joint Intelligence Cell with better real time intelligence sharing to deliver arrests and prosecutions on both sides of the Channel.

I cannot see that there is anything in any of these proposals, or in the fact that they were published on social media, to which the French government's response was a reasonable or proportionate one. I hope they will reconsider their action in cancelling a meeting with the Home Secretary this weekend. It is in the interests of both Britain and France - and of the migrants being put at risk by the gangsters who organise people smuggling - that our nations co-operate to try to find a solution.

Our thoughts are with the families of all of those who tragically lost their lives in French waters on Wednesday. The UK government is committed to intensifying all cooperation with our European partners to prevent these deadly journeys.


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