UK ministers urged to ‘stop playing politics’ at Channel crossings


More lives will be lost in the channel unless immediate action is taken to stop “playing politics with people’s lives”, ministers have been warned as desperate refugees vow to continue attempting the dangerous journey Is.

The grim prediction came as investigators tried to identify the bodies of at least 27 people, including a pregnant woman and three children, believed to be Kurds from Iraq. who drowned on Wednesday,

Images of his drab gray rubber canoe floating in the sea on Thursday brought home the horrors of the tragedy, while a chilling may day call In which the French Coast Guard created by the operator alerts ships to multiple bodies in the water. But cross-party lawmakers, experts and campaigners feared that the tragedy could be repeated.

Residents of temporary camps around Calais and Dunkirk told the Guardian that hundreds of people had traveled to northern France via Belarus. Difficulty On its border with Poland. Many vowed to carry on with their plans to move to the UK in search of a better life – and new arrivals continued to pour into Dover through Thursday.

French Coast Guard's May Day call after boat capsizes - audio
French Coast Guard’s May Day call after boat capsizes – audio

Thursday night boris johnson wrote to French President Emmanuel Macron, setting out five steps to avoid a recurrence of the drowning. These include joint patrols to stop boats leaving French beaches; technology such as sensors and radar; reciprocal maritime patrol and aerial surveillance; Better intelligence sharing to arrest and prosecute smugglers; and a bilateral return agreement with France, along with talks to establish a UK-EU return agreement.

Folkestone’s Conservative MP Damien Collins told the BBC there would be more deaths if France did not increase patrols on the northern beaches. Home Secretary Priti Patel said, to french To take action to prevent further accidents.

Humanitarian groups agreed that more deaths were likely, but differed. possible solutionsInstead, the UK is pushing the government to introduce new safe and legal routes, as well as strengthen existing ones, such as rehabilitation schemes. Beth Gardiner-Smith, chief executive of Safe Passage International, called on Patel to resign and warned that more tragedy was to come.

“More and more people are risking the cold, frightening journey across the Channel in small, unstable boats since the government closed safe routes to the UK last year,” she said. “By choosing to play politics with people’s lives, the government has failed to prevent people from risking the crossing and this is the result.”

In the shadow of a disused warehouse in Grande-Synthe, east of Calais, Sivan told reporters he had traveled from Iraq. France and will continue with his plan to cross. “We just want to live. We are not afraid to cross. It is better to cross.”

The drowning victims appear to have been mainly Kurds from Iraq and included 17 men, seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children. The two surviving men, an Iraqi and a Somali, were being treated at Calais hospital for exhaustion and hypothermia.

A criminal investigation has been opened by the Public Prosecutor in Lille, with five people arrested in connection with the incident. The fifth suspect, caught on Thursday morning, was driving a car with a German number plate and “bought inflatable boats in Germany”.

The boat, carrying at least 29 people, is believed to have left Loon-Plage near Dunkirk. Most likely they were camping in the dunes near Grande-Sinthe.

People waiting to cross at Grande-Sinthe told the Guardian that many of them had arrived via Belarus, which was accused of creating a border crisis with neighboring Poland in retaliation for EU sanctions. The increase in the number of people arriving in Calais via Belarus underscores the complex picture that European governments face in dealing with the refugee crisis.

NS home Office declined to comment on the impact of the Belarusian crisis on migration flows, while the UK government doubled down on its position with the French. Johnson, who held a Cobra meeting on Wednesday to discuss the incident, suggested the French government had not always approached the problem of crossings “in the way we think the situation deserves”.