Granada, Spain: Britain signed a raft of deals with several European countries on Thursday to work more closely together to halt irregular migration by sea.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Italian counterpart Georgia Meloni came to the European Political Community summit determined to push migrant boat arrivals up the agenda.
The European Union is working on a law to better share responsibility for handling new arrivals, but Italy and former EU-member Britain want action to halt the boats at source.
In Grenada, they agreed the outline of a plan with several countries and bodies, including the European Commission, EU members France and the Netherlands and Albania.
And alongside this, Sunak said Britain signed specific cooperation deals with Belgium, Serbia and Bulgaria to tackle migrant-smuggling gangs.
"Tackling illegal migration is a shared European challenge. Numbers are up everywhere," Sunak told AFP in an interview at the Granada EPC summit.
"I believe, as do other European leaders, that it should be us who decides who comes to our countries and not criminal gangs," he said.
Sunak said he was glad that he and Meloni had been able "to talk through this issue to see how more we can work together to strengthen our cooperation to combat this awful crime."
An EU source shared with AFP an eight-point plan agreed at the summit.
The countries agree to take "robust action ... to close down the supply chains of organised gangs through information exchange, operational cooperation, measures to stop all vessels involved in smuggling and awareness raising campaigns".
They also plan to "update the legal framework to strengthen our fight against people smugglers", including by working together at the United Nations.
Some ministers in Sunak's government have suggested Britain may have to reject the European Convention on Human Rights in order to deport "illegal" small boat migrants.
But Sunak insisted that the plan could reduce regular arrivals without breaking Britain's treaties and refused to be drawn on leaving the human rights convention.
"You're speculating on things that well into the future," he told AFP. "We're confident that our laws comply with all international obligations."