Immigration Minister James Brokenshire met ministers from Belgium and the Netherlands at The Hague yesterday (Thursday 12 November) where they signed a joint declaration to strengthen port security and tackle organised immigration crime in the face of unprecedented pressure in Europe from irregular migration.
The Immigration Minister, who made a similar visit in August, met the Dutch State Secretary for Security, Justice and Immigration Klaas Dijkhoff, and Belgian Interior and Immigration Ministers, Jan Jambon and Theo Francken.
Discussions at the meeting focused on the need for the three nations to continue to secure their home ports and share intelligence to disrupt the criminal gangs who profit from exploiting vulnerable migrants.
As a sign of their commitment to tackle organised crime all the ministers present signed the declaration which agreed to:
- enhance cooperation and share expertise and knowledge to support the fight against organised migration crime
- continue to work together to tackle smuggling networks in source and transit countries
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said:
I met with the ministers from the Dutch and Belgian governments today as part of our close working relationship to tackle illegal migration in Europe.
The signing of the joint declaration reaffirms our commitment to tackle the callous criminals who peddle a vile trade in human lives as well as stabilising the countries from which the migrants are coming.
The UK is playing a leading role in pushing for action through the EU and UN, demonstrated by both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary attending this week’s Valletta summit where they agreed an action plan to address, and respond to, the full range of issues associated with irregular migration.