The UK and Greece have committed to deepen cooperation on irregular migration in the Eastern Mediterranean
The joint action plan has been signed by Immigration Minister Chris Philp and Greece’s Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, today signalling a firm commitment from both governments to increase cooperation as illegal migration into Europe via Greece remains high.
Minister for Immigration Compliance, Chris Philp, said:
Illegal migration is facilitated by dangerous, malicious criminals, taking advantage of the desperate situations that many people find themselves in. They do not care about the safety of the people involved.
The joint action plan will deliver on our commitment to keep our borders secure and will discourage those considering making the dangerous and illegal journey into Greece, through Europe, and in many cases to the UK.
Greece is one of the first countries migrants will visit on their route through Europe, and is used by a significant proportion of migrants seeking to reach the UK illegally.
The action plan strengthens the UK’s relationship with one of its key partners in tacking irregular migration and will improve cooperation across a range of issues.
It will ensure asylum and returns processes are as efficient as possible, enhance the already excellent cooperation between UK and Hellenic law enforcement authorities to dismantle migrant smuggling networks and tackle organised immigration crime, and renew cooperation on search and rescue in the Aegean through the UK’s renewed deployment of a Border Force cutter.
The new plan will come into force immediately.