Migrants channel crossing – latest: Boris Johnson ‘deeply saddened’ after over 30 die in boat sinking
Boris Johnson offers ‘increased support’ to France amid migrant crisis
Boris Johnson said he was “shocked” and “appalled” that 31 migrants drowned in the Channel after their inflatable boat sank in the worst disaster on record involving migrants in that stretch of water.
The prime minister urged France to step up efforts to stem the flow of people crossing to the UK in small vessels.
French police have arrested four suspected traffickers on suspicion of being linked to people-smuggling.
The country’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said 34 people had been on board, 31 of whom had died, two were rescued and one was still missing.
“There are two survivors … but their life is in danger, they are suffering from severe hypothermia,” he said.
A French coastguard official confirmed that a rescue operation was under way off the coast of Calais, after a fishing boat sounded the alarm.
Meanwhile, the Labour peer Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis and reached England as a refugee in 1939, told The Independent that the British government must ensure that refugees with a connection to Britain be given a “legal and orderly” way of reaching the country.
More than 25,700 people have made the dangerous sea journey from France to the UK so far this year, more than three times higher than the total last year.
Home Office admits new immigration plans ‘unlikely’ to reduce Channel crossings
To assess the validity of the claim Priti Patel makes below, I am re-upping this piece from September.
Two months ago, the Home Office admitted that evidence showing its new immigration plans will reduce Channel crossings was “limited”.
Its equality impact assessment for the Nationality and Borders Bill added that department’s plans carried “significant scope for indirect discrimination” and “potential for direct discrimination on the basis of race”.
Home secretary Priti Patel has said her thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives today.
She added that the accident highlights the dangers of crossing the Channel.
“It is why this government’s New Plan for Immigration will overhaul our broken asylum system and address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the United Kingdom,” she claimed.