Patel holds ‘urgent talks’ with Dutch minister

Priti Patel held ‘urgent talks’ with the Dutch migration minister this morning, November 28, with regards to the Channel boat crossings. She will discuss the matter with her European counterparts this week.

The Home Secretary spoke with Ankie Broekers-Knol during a phone call. Both politicians agreed that there is a need for countries to work together following the dinghy capsize that killed 27 people earlier this week.

Ms Patel also said it was “unfortunate” she could not be present as interior ministers from France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission were also holding ‘urgent talks’ in Calais on the same day to discuss the problem.

The Home Office said: “They agreed that the tragic incidents of last week demonstrate the need for European partners to work together. It was clear that shared problems needed shared solutions.

“The Home Secretary expressed that it was unfortunate that she wouldn’t be present at today’s meeting of Interior Ministers in Calais to discuss this issue.”

They also discussed “ideas for enhanced bilateral and EU co-operation” as well as “the need to tackle criminal gangs operating boat journeys across the Channel”, it was said.

On Sunday, Ms Patel said on Twitter: “I will be holding ‘urgent talks’ with my European counterparts this week to prevent further tragedies in the Channel.

“More international co-operation and passing our Borders Bill quickly into law will stop the people smugglers and save lives.”

She had said that failing to increase co-operation with Europe could cause “even worse scenes” in the Channel this winter.

Ms Patel told the Sun on Sunday: “There should now be an even greater onus on all of us on both sides of the Channel to act. We have a long history of working constructively with our friends across the Channel on shared challenges.” The Home Secretary added that she was “sorry” not to have been at the meeting in Calais.

Emmanuel Macron withdrew her invitation to today’s ‘urgent talks’. He was offended by Boris Johnson publicly sharing the letter of how he should deal with the issue at hand.


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Natalie Williams

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