By John Ensor •
Published: 06 Oct 2023 • 16:47
Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloni.
Credit: Mike Dotta/Shutterstock.com
At the recent European summit in Granada, Italy has joined forces with the UK in an effort to tackle the migrant crisis.
Yesterday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced their united stance on the escalating migrant issue. Both leaders have frequently met, both individually and during international summits, to discuss their shared views.
The two leaders recently penned a joint letter, which was shared in Italian media and on GOV.UK. The letter’s message was clear: ‘We must stop those illegal landings’. They emphasised the need for a collaborative approach to tackle human trafficking, not just for their nations but for Europe as a whole.
‘Every week, thousands of migrants cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy, illegally entering Europe. Many head north to reach the UK. This is why we are working together to stop the boats and ask everyone to act with the same sense of urgency,’ the letter read.
Meloni and Sunak further elaborated on the gravity of the situation. ‘It is an ethical crisis,’ they stated, ‘with criminal gangs profiting from the misery of the most vulnerable. It is a humanitarian crisis, with shipwrecks that have already caused over 2,000 victims this year.
And it is a European crisis, as von der Leyen indicated it is the states that decide who arrives in Europe, not the smugglers and traffickers.’
The leaders also highlighted the need for a unified political direction. Their letter read, ‘We have a common position and now is the time to act. Only by stopping the flow of illegal immigrants can we restore the trust of British and Italian citizens, not only in our national borders, but also in European and international cooperation.’ They also welcomed President von der Leyen’s recent 10-point plan to combat trafficking.
The UK’s partnerships with nations like Albania and France have shown positive outcomes. Furthermore, London is actively pursuing new initiatives with countries such as Belgium, Turkey, and the EU agency Frontex.
The concluding remarks of the letter underlined the growing bond between Italy and the UK. ‘We are proud,’ Meloni and Sunak wrote, ‘that Italy and the United Kingdom are working side by side in this area because in this and many other areas our perspectives and objectives are the same.
‘Together we have set an example regarding Ukraine, as two of Kiev’s staunchest supporters on the world stage and providing unwavering all-round support.’
Since Meloni took office in Italy and Sunak in the UK, the two nations have found multiple areas of agreement. This was evident when, shortly after the coronation of King Charles III, Sunak invited Meloni to Westminster Abbey. During this visit, Meloni voiced her support for the UK’s recent immigration policies.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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