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Deaths of migrants from the Channel: Boris Johnson castigates France – Difficult to get them to act | United Kingdom | New




At least 31 people have lost their lives after a boat capsized off Calais on Wednesday afternoon. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed that the death toll included five women and a young girl.

Two people were rescued and taken to hospital in France, while another person is missing.

Mr. Darmanin added that four people had been arrested in connection with the incident in the Channel.

The prime minister said he was “shocked, dismayed and deeply saddened” by the incident and pledged to do more to prevent dangerous crossings.

Speaking this evening following an emergency COBRA meeting, Mr Johnson admitted that efforts to stem the number of small boat trips “have not been sufficient”.

The UK has already agreed to send £ 54million to France to increase border patrols and Mr Johnson has pledged to increase his support.

He said: “What this shows is that the gangs that send people to sea in these dangerous boats will literally stop at nothing.

“But what I’m afraid it also shows is that the operation led by our friends on the beaches, supported as you know with £ 54million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, the technical support we provided was not enough.

“Our offer is to increase our support but also to work together with our partners on the beaches concerned, on the launching bases of these boats.

“This is something that I hope will be acceptable now given what has happened.”

Mr Johnson suggested that France had not done enough to prevent the Channel crossings, which have reached record levels this year.

He added: “We have had difficulty persuading some of our partners, especially the French, to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves.

“I understand the difficulties that all countries face, but what we want now is to do more together – and this is the offer we are making.”

He told Sky News: “My message to the French authorities, which I told them a few minutes ago, is to understand that if the migrant is in Calais – or around the English Channel – they will try to cross the Handle.

“We must move them, even by force, to health centers in central France.”

More than 25,700 people have made the dangerous journey to the UK in small boats this year, three times the total for all of 2020.




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