The Prime Minister called the German Chancellor this morning to discuss the migration crisis.
The Prime Minister wanted to take the opportunity to talk to the Chancellor about the progress that had been made, particularly in the Aegean, following last month’s agreement between the EU and Turkey and in light of the Prime Minister’s discussions yesterday with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
They agreed that the NATO mission in the Aegean was delivering results and could play an important role in breaking the business model of the people smugglers, but there remained more to be done to make it as effective as possible.
They discussed how they could continue to engage with Turkey to ensure that the Turks benefit from the NATO resources on offer and to deliver the prompt return of migrants from Greece to Turkey under the EU-Turkey agreement.
The Prime Minister said we stood ready to provide further assistance, including sending additional personnel to support the Greek authorities in implementing the agreement.
They also discussed the EU led naval mission – Operation Sophia – in the central Mediterranean and the need to be alert to an increase in the number of migrants using this route over the calmer summer months.
They agreed on the need to ensure that Operation Sophia has all the necessary resources and to make sure we are working as effectively as possible with the Libyan authorities, including the Libyan coastguard, to help stop traffickers smuggling people from the Libyan coast to Europe.
On steel, the Prime Minister raised the over-capacity challenges affecting not just the European steel industry, but across the globe. They discussed how European countries were already working together in the EU to support national steel industries and agreed that they should continue to discuss how to address this shared problem.