Italy and Britain pledge joint action against ‘illegal migration’

ROME (Reuters) – Italy and Britain want to lead the way in Europe in the fight against “illegal migration”, the right-wing prime ministers of the two countries said in a joint op-ed published on Friday.

The article is another show of unity between two governments whose tough approach on immigration has come under fire from charities and human rights advocates.

“Our perspectives and our goals are the same. In fact, we are two of the closest friends in Europe today,” they wrote in the Corriere della Sera and The Times newspapers, also noting their shared views on Ukraine and defence cooperation.

“We are working together to stop the boats and we are calling on others to act with the same sense of urgency,” Meloni and Sunak said, a day after co-hosting a meeting on immigration with other European leaders.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also took part in the talks, held on the sidelines of a wider summit in Granada, Spain.

At this meeting, “leaders committed to take action to support one another to tackle the challenges of illegal migration,” Meloni and Sunak said, adding: “We’re proud that Italy and the UK are leading on this together.”

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini; Editing by Stephen Coates)