UK-France: Action plan on small boats crossing the Channel published


More information-sharing - €3.6 million for new security equipment - Joint return operations

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The interior ministers of the UK and France have declared their determination "to stop this trend of illegal migrants seeking to cross the Channel in small boats", with a new action plan setting out a series of measures.

The plan foresees the two states "coordinating our efforts on land and at sea to prevent crossings," requiring further efforts from the Centre Conjoint d’Information et de Coordination (CCIC) and the National Maritime Information Centre and Prefet Maritime.

The UK is to provide France with €3.6 million in new funding for "reinforced preventive security measures," including equipment such as "CCTV, night goggles and number plate recognition capability", in the framework of commitments made through the July 2018 Sandhurst Treaty.

There will also be a "strategic communication campaign designed to inform migrants of the risks of illegal migration to deter them from trying to use this route."

Finally, the action plan promises to "use all lawful avenues open to us to manage the migration process," meaning that "the return of migrants from the UK to France, or from France to the UK, will be carried out expeditiously" and "will include use of the Dublin Regulation and joint return flights to countries of origin."

See: Joint action plan by the UK and France on combating illegal migration involving small boats in the English Channel (pdf) and the same document in French: PLAN D'ACTION CONJOINT ENTRE LE ROYAUME-UNI ET LA FRANCE DANS LE DOMAINE DE LA LUTTE CONTRE L'IMMIGRATION IRREGULIERE IMPLIQUANT DE PETITES EMBARCATIONS TRA VERSANT LA MANCHE (pdf)

See also the UK government press release: UK and France sign action plan to tackle small boat crossings (, link) and in French: LE ROYAUME UNI ET LA FRANCE SIGNENT UN PLAN D'ACTION CONJOINT POUR S’ATTAQUER AUX TRAVERSEES IRREGULIERES DE PETITES EMBARCATIONS (pdf)

And a Home Office news article: Immigration Minister visits Joint Co-ordination Centre (, link)

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