We reiterate our horror at Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the United
support for the American government.
France and Britain are determined to work together, and with other
democratic countries, to combat terrorism and further to consider
ways of enhancing our joint security for the future.
We examined together the measures already adopted in our respective
countries to reinforce security and agreed to remain in close
We also had a constructive discussion of how we can work together to
deal with the problem of illegal immigration, in particular people
seeking to enter Britain for northern France. We agreed that this is
not a problem limited to Britain and France. Illegal immigration is
an international phenomenon and controlling it is a matter for all
European Union member states.
We affirm our commitment to granting asylum to those who are under
threat of persecution in their own countries. But we are equally
committed to combating the illegal trafficking of human beings and
the abuse of asylum procedures.
We have agreed to work together to bring forward a new package of
measures to deter people trafficking leading up to and including at
the Laeken European Council in December. European-wide measures will
address vulnerable borders and clandestine routes into the EU.
We have agreed to travel together to visit the Balkans in the months
ahead to meet the EU immigration teams which are already established
there and to see the problem at first hand.
We will also press for swift progress to agree and implement common
EU procedures for dealing with asylum seekers, and common minimum
standards which will reduce the disparities between EU members and
inhibit 'asylum shopping' in the EU.
The French minister of the interior noted the significant measures
already taken to combat illegal immigration towards the UK including
legislation on juxtaposed controls* on Eurostar, policing of the
Channel tunnel entrance, 55,000 arrests made since the beginning of
the year. M. Vaillant also recalled the security measures so far
taken by transporters and Eurotunnel.
The home secretary recalled the steps taken in Britain since 1999 to
tighten procedures for dealing with asylum seekers. Immigration staff
and resources have been increased (almost 2,000 extra immigration
officers over the last year alone); asylum cases are being processed
more quickly; the number of returns has increased. The Home Secretary
intends in the weeks ahead to announce further measures.
Meanwhile we have discussed a number of measures to address the
situation at Coquelles and Sangatte and agreed on the following
- Britain is prepared to send officials to Sangatte to work with the
International Organisation for Migration, supported by the French
services, to provide realistic information to deter would-be
- Both sides agreed that action to reduce the flow of people into the
Red Cross Centre at Sangatte should be complemented by efforts to
persuade would-be refugees to seek asylum in the first country of
arrival in the European Union.
- Britain is ready to offer advice to Eurotunnel on reinforcing its
security arrangements and will explore this further over the next
- Britain will further strengthen the number of immigration officers
at the Coquelles security zone. At the same time France will
toughen legal action against intruders there. We will follow up
these proposals together immediately. British and French police
will examine ways to improve their exchange of information.
- France will recruit additional interpreters to facilitate
- France confirms that there is no intention to open a second
reception centre for those attempting to enter the UK illegally.
* Juxtaposed controls were recently introduced on the London/Paris
Eurostar service, and are those whereby the UK and France undertake
an immigration control in the other's country before passengers
embark. They mirror the arrangements for the immigration control on
passengers using the Channel Tunnel Shuttle, which have been in
operation since that service opened.