The British Home Secretary Rt Hon Amber Rudd and the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve met in London on Monday 10 October. This meeting followed a previous meeting between the 2 ministers in Paris on 30 August.
The meeting focused on the strengthening of Franco-British cooperation in Calais, specifically in relation to the protection of children before, during and after the planned dismantling of the camp. Both the UK and French governments jointly agreed that the safety of vulnerable children in Calais is their utmost priority.
Amber Rudd confirmed the British government’s support for the French authorities in order to address the humanitarian situation in the camp and to protect the shared border. The British government will work to ensure the success of this operation, particularly in relation to 3 key points.
Firstly, in order to respond to the various humanitarian challenges in Calais, the Amiens agreement between the 2 countries of March 2016 which foresaw the resettlement of isolated minors in Calais with established family ties in the UK will be implemented and enlarged.
Secondly, France and the United Kingdom’s close cooperation against illegal immigration networks targeting the UK will be strengthened, with the aim of definitively ending all criminal activity carried out by people-smugglers. Thirty-one smuggling networks have already been dismantled since the beginning of the year
Thirdly, British financial investment in Calais to help tackle the impact of migratory pressures in Calais – amounting to over €100 million in the last 2 years – will be expanded to ensure the overall longer term security of the border and to contribute to the resettlement of migrants outside of Calais as part of the clearance operation.
Furthermore, the 2 countries will also continue their cooperation to return those migrants in Calais not in need of protection to their home countries. More than 1,500 illegal immigrants have been removed from Calais since 1 January.
Finally, with regards to counter-terrorism at a European level, Amber Rudd declared her desire and firm commitment to work with both France and Germany in support of their joint efforts to improve the security of all citizens of the European Union. In particular to enhance data sharing among member states and EU institutions to ensure effective and appropriate information exchange to tackle terrorism threats.