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Channel refugee tragedy catastrophe raises alarm in France, UK | Stories

Britain and France are looking for new ways to reduce migration across the English Channel and smash human trafficking networks after at least 27 refugees and migrants – including three children and a pregnant woman – have drowned off the north coast of France.

Wednesday fire, the most serious road accident since the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Channel began collecting Channel data in 2014, has raised concerns about humanitarian action.

The show under the “No More Channel Deaths” sign will take place in London later Thursday outside the United Kingdom Home Office.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed that France will not allow the Channel to be “a graveyard” and has spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work together to crack down on smugglers who accuse him of crossing over.

Prime Minister Jean Castex held a crisis meeting Thursday with the cabinet to discuss new options, his office said.

Seventeen men, seven women and three children died when an inflatable boat capsized and sailed to the northern port of Calais on Wednesday, according to government officials in Lille. A murder investigation has been launched.

The IOM reports that at least 200 refugees and internally displaced persons have died in tragic deaths this year.

The tragedy brings a new challenge to agreement between France and Britain after Brexit. The opening remarks by both sides of the dispute over the responsibility of the other party to act have shown that the crisis is not the only cause for collusion. In September, UK threatened shipping boats to France.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said five suspected smugglers accused of crossing the border had been arrested.

Darmanin said two survivors of hypothermia, Iraq and Somalia, had been found and would eventually be interrogated.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart said a pregnant woman was one of the victims.

More people traveling on a dangerous trek across the English Channel were brought ashore following the crash Thursday.

A group of people wearing life jackets and wrapped in blankets were seen crammed into the Royal National Lifeboat Institution or RNLI rescue boat before disembarking in Dover on Thursday morning.

In Wednesday’s incident, three helicopters and three boats searched the area, found bodies and people in a coma, after a fisherman sounded the alarm.

The boat took off from the shores of Dunkirk before hitting Calais in the west, a source close to the investigation said.

Johnson said he was “shocked, shocked and deeply saddened by the deaths of people at sea”, following a crisis meeting with senior officials.

But he also said Britain had “experienced difficulties in persuading some of our friends, especially the French, to do the right thing”.

In a telephone interview, Johnson and Macron agreed on “the speed of action to prevent this dangerous crossing” and that “it is important that all decisions are on the table” to end the smuggling business, according to Downing. Road.

Reading a summary of the talks, Elysee Palace said Macron had told Johnson that France and the UK had a “shared responsibility” and added that he “expected the British to fully cooperate and avoid taking advantage of political opportunities”.

British media reports say the UK government is keen to revive the idea of ​​a British-French tourist destination on the northern coast of France that was previously rejected by Paris.

Charles Devos, a French rescue crew member, reported seeing a “flat, low-pressure, low-pressure boat floating” surrounded by drowning bodies.

Pierre Roques of the non-governmental organization Auberge des Migrants (NGO) in Calais said the Channel is as dangerous as the Mediterranean Sea, which has a high risk of migration.

“People are dying in the Channel, which is a cemetery. And as England is different, people will continue to cross, “he said.

According to France, 31,500 people have tried to fly to Britain since the beginning of the year and 7,800 people have been rescued at sea, a figure that has doubled since August.

According to British officials, more than 25,000 undocumented migrants have arrived this year, three times the number enrolled in 2020.


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