Interior Secretary Priti Patel said there was “no quick fix” to deal with the Channel’s migration in small boats when France sought new aid and many others crossed with difficulty due to the dreaded deadline.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he was calling for “extra help” in the UK on Thursday when authorities revealed that pregnant women and children were among the at least 27 people killed when a boat capsized off the coast of Calais.
Patel described the drowning as “very strange” and described the “unnecessary” crossing as well as the opportunity to send British officials to patrol the coast of France during a meeting with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
But the magnitude of the problem is further exemplified by new Home Office statistics showing that the UK population has achieved higher levels for nearly 20 years, due to the increasing number of migrants on the Channel and rising numbers following the coronavirus epidemic.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Patel said: “What happened yesterday was shocking, not surprising, but a reminder of how vulnerable people are at the hands of terrorists.
“There is no immediate improvement. This includes dealing with items that take a long time, cracking down on gangs that take people as property and dealing with support movements. ”
After the Prime Minister was identified as making a similar phone call to Macron, Patel said he had provided “reasonable” information to his French counterpart of the British troops taking part in “a joint operation to prevent the dangerous missions.”
But Pierre-Henri Dumont, MP for Calais, rejected the “crazy” idea, saying it “does not change anything” along the coast.
Speaking on the way to Croatia, Macron said: “We are asking for some help from Britain because both men and women do not want to stay in France.
“We tell them they can, and there are places in Calais and Dunkirk where they can go, but we would like to save them at sea.”
Darmanin previously described the loss of 27 people Wednesday as “catastrophic” as he condemned the smugglers who promised people “El Dorado of England” in large numbers.
While French politicians have blamed UK officials for failing to address the crisis, two other small boats carrying desperate people are believed to have reached the British coast.
A group wearing life jackets and wrapped in blankets were seen crashing into an RNLI rescue boat before disembarking in Dover on Thursday morning. The storm prevents cross-sectioning during the day.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called for a better system based on “compassion, justice and unity in all borders” following the “catastrophic loss of human life”.
Darmanin told French television station RTL that smugglers are “terrorists, people who take advantage of the plight of others, women and children – there were pregnant women, children who died yesterday in a boat … Dorado in England.
“And, sadly, this has been repeated every day for the past 20 years.”
A joint search and rescue operation by French and British officials set up after a fishing boat spotted people off the coast of France was suspended late Wednesday.
The French prosecutor’s office, which investigated the case, said the dead were 17 men, seven women and two boys and a girl believed to be a teenager.
Mr Darmanin said the sinking boat was too small, likening it to “a pool you have blown up in your garden”.
He could not name the countries of the victims, but said the two survivors were Somali and Iraqi and received severe hypothermia treatment.
French authorities have arrested five suspected traffickers in connection with the incident, and French government officials said magistrates were investigating possible cases of murder, accidental harm, assisting illegal immigrants and conspiracy to commit atrocities.
Following a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee, Johnson said it was clear that France’s immigration efforts were “insufficient” despite US $ 54 million funding, adding that human traffickers were “fleeing”. to give ”.
However, Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart said it was the British who were to blame and urged Johnson to “meet his obligations”.
“The British government is right. I believe that Boris Johnson, for the last year and a half, has deliberately chosen to sue France,” he said, according to French reports.
Franck Dhersin, vice president of northern Hauts-de-France, said the “mafia bosses” at the top of the retail industry reside in the UK and should be arrested.
“And the mafia kings live in London … They live in London peacefully, in beautiful houses, earn millions of dollars every year, and return the money to the City,” he told French television station BFMTV.
Several people are also believed to have arrived in Britain in small boats on Wednesday, and an Afghan soldier who had worked with the British army is said to be one of those who landed in Dungeness, Kent.
Dover Strait is the busiest route in the world and has killed dozens of people trying to cross into Britain on board boats.
More than 25,700 people have embarked on a dangerous voyage to the UK in small boats this year – three times the total for the whole of 2020, according to a report by PA media organization.
Statistics released by Home Office on Thursday showed that more than 37,500 security claims were made in the UK in September, the highest for almost 20 years.
The remnants of the case have recovered since the start of similar records, with more than 67,500 petitions awaiting verdict at the end of September.
Calais MP Dumont argued that more security “does not change anything because we have 200-300km offshore to cover 24/7”.
“I think the time has come for our governments to stop blaming each other and try to communicate with each other and find real solutions, not a crazy way like having more people around, sending a British army to the coast of France,” he said. told BBC Breakfast.
“This is unacceptable and does not change anything.”
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