UK government officials and law enforcement are preparing to head to France for talks amid the migrant crossing crisis.

Reports differ as to whether they are travelling there this evening or tomorrow.

Home secretary Priti Patel is set to travel to France on Sunday for discussions after at least 27 people died yesterday crossing the English Channel on a flimsy overcrowded dinghy that capsized.

Boris Johnson has urged his French counterpart to work with the UK on five steps to ease the migrant crisis – including the “swift” return of asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats.

He called on French president Emmanuel Macron to help establish “joint patrols to prevent more boats from leaving French beaches”.

The PM also urged him to help deploy “more advanced technology, like sensors and radar” and – the third step – “airborne surveillance”.

Mr Johnson called for “better real-time intelligence-sharing to deliver more arrests and prosecutions on both sides of the Channel”

The fifth step he outlined in a post on Twitter was to work on “a bilateral returns agreement with France, alongside talks to establish a UK-EU returns agreement” to return migrants who cross the Channel in dinghys and small boats.

He said this would “immediately” and “significantly” reduce the numbers of people who “put their lives in the hands of traffickers”.

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