James Cleverly to discuss curbing illegal migration on Italy visit

The Home Secretary will meet his Italian counterpart and visit the island of Lampedusa.

Home Secretary James Cleverly is travelling to Italy to discuss migration
Home Secretary James Cleverly is travelling to Italy to discuss migration (James Manning/PA)

James Cleverly will travel to Italy to meet his counterpart for talks on joint action on curbing illegal migration and to visit Lampedusa, an island at the centre of Europe’s migrant surge.

The Home Secretary’s trip comes as the Government gears up to get deportation flights to Rwanda off the ground as Rishi Sunak seeks to deter people from coming to the UK in small boats.

Mr Cleverly, who described Italy as one of the UK’s “most crucial partners in tackling this shared challenge”, will discuss efforts to stem migration from North Africa with interior minister Matteo Piantedosi on Tuesday.

The UK and Italy are exploring co-operation on addressing the root causes of illegal migration, the Home Office said.

Mr Cleverly will also visit the Italian coastguard headquarters in Rome to understand the operational challenges the country faces from migrant arrivals.

On Wednesday, he will become the first UK Government minister to visit Lampedusa, which last year saw around 110,000 migrants landing on its shores.

The Tory frontbencher will learn how Italian authorities are working with agencies such as Frontex and international humanitarian groups to track migrant boats and save the lives of those making the journey in unseaworthy vessels.

Mr Cleverly said: “Tackling the global migration crisis takes global solutions. Italy are one of our most crucial partners in tackling this shared challenge and have been at the forefront of arrivals into Europe.

“Our countries have shown we are willing to challenge the status quo and use innovative solutions to tackle the issues, while ferociously going after the people-smuggling gangs.”