UK agrees deal with Nigeria to tackle shared illegal migration

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LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Britain said on Thursday that it has agreed a new deal with Nigeria that would see them work together to tackle illegal migration and speed up the removal of foreign criminals.

The government, which has faced criticism for its recently-announced partnership with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, said that the agreement with Nigeria would also promote “shared bilateral economic interests”.
UK Home Office – Britain’s lead department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism, and police – disclosed this on Friday via its verified Twitter handle.

It explained that the new agreement aimed at deterring illegal migration would enable both countries to work closer together on supporting safe and legal migration and speeding up the removal of foreign criminals.

In another tweet, Home Secretary and member of the UK Parliament for Witham, Priti Patel, described the agreement as a landmark.

The development, she stated, would increase the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals and take the fight to the criminals who smuggle migrants.

The deal was reached the same day 13 Nigerians were deported from the UK for different violations. Eight of the deported persons were convicted criminals while the remaining five had entered the UK illegally.

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Daily Mail reported that 8 Ghanaians were also deported the same day.

Patel said the agreement will serve the interests of both countries.

“The deal will mean that operational teams in both countries will share their expertise to take the fight to criminal people smugglers who are responsible for a wider range of criminality and put profit before people while undermining the security of our two countries,” she said.

“This landmark agreement will increase the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals to make our streets and country safer.”

The British government has sought to crack down on illegal immigration and last month, parliament passed controversial reforms which introduce maximum life sentences for people smugglers.

The Nationality and Borders Act also imposes tougher jail terms for anyone arriving illegally in the country, which has raised fears it could be used against asylum-seekers and refugees.

In April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Britain will send migrants and asylum-seekers who cross the Channel thousands of miles away to Rwanda under a controversial deal as the government tries to clamp down on record numbers of people making the perilous journey.

“From today… anyone entering the UK illegally as well as those who have arrived illegally since January 1 may now be relocated to Rwanda,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a speech near Dover in southeastern England on April 14.