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London and Paris sign English Channel security agreement

The British and French governments signed this Monday a treaty of cooperation in maritime security in case of threats, such as attacks on ships operating in the English Channel.

The Government of the United Kingdom explained, in a statement, that the pact – negotiated by the interior ministers of the two countries and signed this Monday in Paris – will allow “sharing information”, organizing “best quick answers”, coordinate joint events and cooperate “in a more efficient way”, in an attack situation or any other incident.

The measures agreed will give more powers to security and emergency agencies, in addition to facilitating collaboration between the two countries.

The British Government emphasizes that the treaty – which will enter into force when ratified by both Parliaments – aims to mitigate the effects of “a security threat incidenton a ferry or large vessel in the Channel” and is not intended to “combat illegal immigration”, for which other agreements exist.

An example of a situation in which this agreement could be important, this Monday, 88 migrants were rescued off Boulogne-sur-Mer, in northern France, as they tried to reach England in three boats.

A British Navy patrol boat recovered 11 of the castaways and a tug chartered by the French Navy recovered 77 others, all of which arrived ashore safe and sound, having been taken in at Boulogne-sur-Mer.

From Paris, where he met with several representatives of the French Government, the head of British diplomacy, Dominic Raab, declared that, “as close allies, it is vital that the UK and France work together to protect citizens”.

Raab and British Defense Minister Ben Wallace discussed with their French colleagues issues such as security in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well as relations with Russia, China, Iran and Afghanistan.

The two countries’ ministers also discussed the post-‘Brexit’ trade treaty, the fight against the covid-19 pandemic and the upcoming climate summit, which will be held in the UK in November.

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