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UK and EU reach new deal on stopping small boat crossings

Britain is set to sign a new deal with the EU’s border agency in a further bid to stop small boats crossing the Channel.

The deal agreed with Frontex will see the UK Border Force co-operate more closely with its European counterparts on intelligence and training, as well as on implementing new technology and operations.

James Cleverly will welcome European home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson to London to observe the signing of the arrangement by officials from Frontex and Border Force.

The home secretary said: “This government has a plan to break the model of the smuggling gangs, end the abuse of our asylum system and stop the boats. The plan is working with crossings down by a third – but we must go further.

“Organised immigration crime and people-smuggling are global challenges that require shared solutions and ambitions.

“Our landmark working arrangement between the UK and Frontex is another crucial step in tackling illegal migration, securing our borders and stopping the boats.”

The deal is the latest in a series of arrangements, including an agreement reached last year with Paris to boost co-operation between French and British law enforcement agencies.

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It also follows discussions between Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen who agreed in May 2023 to beef up co-operation on small boats.

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The prime minister had a phone conversation with the European Commission president on Sunday and the pair welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations that led to the agreement.

Mr Sunak made “stopping the boats” one of his five priorities for 2023.

The number of people crossing the Channel in small boats last year fell from 45,755 to 29,437.

So far, 1,716 people have crossed this year, down from 2,720 in the same period in 2023.

Sky News Source