Dunkirk, Zagreb, Calais, London After a refugee boat capsized in the English Channel with 27 dead, Great Britain wants to agree concrete steps with France to prevent similar accidents. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday evening that he had proposed five measures to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Joint patrols were intended to prevent further refugee boats from leaving the French coast with their destination Great Britain. Radar and sensors should also be used for monitoring. In addition, there must be a return agreement between his country and France and one with the European Union.
Meanwhile, France is expanding its maritime surveillance after a boat accident. “I say it very clearly that our security forces are mobilized day and night,” said French President Macron on Thursday during a visit to the Croatian capital, Zagreb.
He promised “maximum mobilization” of the French armed forces, with reservists and drones monitoring the coast. Macron said France was just a transit country for many migrants, so more European cooperation was needed to combat illegal immigration.
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A rubber dinghy with migrants capsized in the English Channel on Wednesday. 27 people died in the process. It is the worst known calamity of this kind in the strait. France and Great Britain covered each other with allegations on Thursday.
The refugee issue is a recurring point of contention between both sides. Great Britain has offered joint patrols off the French coast near Calais, but France refuses. According to human rights groups, smugglers and migrants are increasingly taking risks to avoid a growing police presence. That is why the accident was foreseeable.
More: At least 27 dead in the sinking of a migrant boat in the English Channel – Macron and Johnson advise