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UK and EU to share intelligence on gangs trafficking migrants in new deal

The UK will gain access to the EU's intelligence on human trafficking gangs as part of a new deal with the EU's border protection agency, Frontex. This signals a new closer co-operation between the two after Brexit.

This new deal will allow both sides to more easily exchange information, collaborate on developing tactics, train officials and collaborate on developing new technology to prevent illegal migration.

British and EU officials will formally sign an agreement in London on Friday.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Organised immigration crime and people smuggling are global challenges that require shared solutions and ambitions,"

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has staked his political career on managing to curtail "small boats migration", the practice of carrying or trafficking asylum seekers across the English Channel from France. 

While Britain has reached bilateral agreements – including a recent deal with Albania to disrupt people-smuggling gangs and tackle illegal migration – it no longer has returns agreements with the EU since it left the bloc in 2020.

A spokesman for the Home Office said Britain will not pay any money to the EU as part of the agreement, and that the new deal does not include any returns agreement.

The deal is the latest move by Sunak to improve relations between Britain and the EU.

Britain last year said it would rejoin the European Union's flagship Horizon science research programme, ending a two-year post-Brexit standoff with the EU over science funding.