10:46 GMT21 September 2020
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    This summer saw large-scale human trafficking between northern France and the UK by sea for the first time, with often hundreds attempting the perilous crossing each day in dangerously overloaded boats.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to work with the UK to stop human trafficking.

    The President said he had a fruitful telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday on stopping criminals carrying up to hundreds of illegal immigrants a day across the English Channel.

    "Very good exchange with Boris Johnson," Macron tweeted . "We are going to strengthen our co-operation against migrant traffickers."

    Migrants have been camping out in northwestern France for years in their bid to enter the UK and claim asylum, after refusing to do so in France. But this summer saw a new development as thousands attempted to cross the seas between the two countries in dangerously-overloaded boats.

    The UK has threatened to deport those arriving illegally without giving them the customary opportunity to claim asylum.

    The two leaders also discussed the ongoing talks towards a post-Brexit trade deal, which have been deadlocked for months over issues including demands by France and other European Union (EU) members for continued access to British fisheries.

    Earlier on Monday, Johnson set the EU a deadline of October 15 to agree a trade deal acceptable to the UK or London will "move on."

    But Downing Street scotched media rumours that the Conservative government was set to tear up last year's EU Withdrawal Agreement on the terms of Northern Ireland's continued access to the EU Customs Union.

    Other topics for discussion included the two NATO members' response to the alleged poisoning of Russian media personality and government critic Alexei Navalny and developments in Lebanon. 

    "We also discussed the consequences from the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, the situation in Lebanon and the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom," Macron wrote.


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    illegal immigration, human trafficking, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron
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