Boris Johnson discusses 'scourge' of Channel migrant crossings with Emmanuel Macron in high-stakes phone call

Boris Johnson joined the French President to discuss migrant crossings in the English Channel during a phone call

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A Downing Street readout of a call between the Prime Minister and Mr Macron said: “The Prime Minister spoke to French President Macron this afternoon.

“The leaders thanked one another for their friendship and comradeship over the last few years.

"They agreed that UK-French co-operation on the world stage has made a difference on a huge range of global issues, as they had discussed at the recent G7.

“They were both convinced that the bilateral relationship would continue to grow stronger in the years ahead. The Prime Minister and President Macron discussed preparations for the upcoming UK-France Summit as clear evidence of that fact.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron at the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

“The Prime Minister thanked President Macron for his efforts to help resolve border disruption and tackle the scourge of illegal people trafficking.

“The leaders expressed their shared confidence that deeper cooperation between the UK and France will be central to further progress in this area, and help to dismantle more smuggling networks.”

More than 13,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel since Priti Patel announced her plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, new figures show.

According to the Ministry of Defence, 176 people made the crossing on five small boats on Sunday, bringing the total to 13,016 since April 14.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel.

It brings the total number of people who have crossed the English Channel so far this year to 18,284.

Analysis of the MoD’s provisional figures shows 1,885 people have been brought to the UK so far in August.

That is more than half of the 3,053 people rescued in August 2021.

In April, Ms Patel hailed the Rwanda deal as a “world class” plan that provided a “blueprint” for other countries to follow.

“The UK asylum system is collapsing under a combination of real humanitarian crises and evil people smugglers profiteering by exploiting the system for their own gains,” she said.

“This has devastating consequences for the countless men, women and children who have tragically lost their lives or loved ones on perilous journeys.

“A global leadership is required to find new innovative solutions to this growing problem.”