Joint Declaration France – United Kingdom of 14 December

Joint statement by the Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories of France, Mr Gérald Darmanin, and the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Ms Suella Braverman.

Early this morning the authorities were alerted to one accident in the English Channel involving a temporary boat in distress. Unfortunately, several deaths have been confirmed.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic event and on behalf of France and the United Kingdom we speak our deepest sympathy relatives of the persons concerned.

ONE coordinated response to this terrible tragedy has been carried out, where the French and British actors work together. We salute the commitment of all those who contributed to it.

This tragic accident – like the disappearance of at least 27 people on 24 November last year – is a stark reminder of the urgent need to destroy the smugglers’ business model. We have prevented over 30,000 crossings so far this year ; Together with other European partners, including Europol, we have made more than 500 arrests since 2020.

We recently agreed on one renewed bilateral framework to combat illegal immigrationwith a closer cooperation and exchange of informationa bigger one the number of French agents equipped with the latest technology to patrol the French coastsand British and French agents working with the other country’s team asintegrated observers. We also held a Calais format (Germany, Belgium, France, UK, Netherlands) meeting in Brussels on 8 December and decided together with our European neighbors to step up our police, border and judicial cooperation at their counter, with support from EU agencies.

Today’s tragic accident underscores the importance of making progress together.

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