Britain and France have just signed a new security deal aimed at protecting the public in the event of a terror attack in the Channel against a large vessel such as a passenger ferry or cargo vessel.
The UK-France Maritime Security Treaty was signed in Paris as the defence and foreign ministers from both sides met for talks on shared security interests.
The treaty includes provisions which will enable Britain and France to share information concerning potential threats, mount swifter responses to serious incidents, and coordinate more efficient joint responses.
The British government said in a statement:
“The treaty is the foundation for seamless joint and coordinated action to be taken by UK and French forces in response to an incident, such as a terrorist attack on board a ferry or other large vessel in the Channel.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
“As close allies it is vital the UK and France work together to protect our citizens and values. This treaty will reinforce our ability to jointly respond swiftly and effectively to terrorist threats.”
Mr Raab stressed that the treaty is aimed at fighting terror incidents and is not intended to tackle illegal migration.
There was no immediate communication on the new treaty from the French government, but in a joint statement, Britain and France said the four ministers discussed international issues including new security challenges online, the Indo-Pacific region, and the fight against terror in Africa, Syria and Iraq.