Monday, December 6

31 migrants die in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK

At least 31 migrants trying to cross the English Channel bound for the United Kingdom died this Wednesday in a shipwreck off the coast of Calais, in northern France, as confirmed by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

The United Kingdom will send ships to the English Channel to return boats to French waters

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Darmain has said that among the dead were five women and a young girl, and that one person is still missing. The French authorities have not disclosed the nationalities of the victims or the exact circumstances of the accident.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has lamented the “tragedy”. “I direct my thoughts to the many missing and wounded, victims of criminal traffickers who exploit the despair and misery of immigrants,” he said on Twitter.

Boris Johnson has also commented on the matter in a statement. “I just want to say that I am shocked, horrified and deeply saddened by the loss of life in the Channel. This catastrophe shows how dangerous it is to cross the English Channel in this way,” said the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

France has noticed an increase in the arrival of migrants, particularly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Eritrea. France last week dismantled a network dedicated to the trafficking of immigrants in the English Channel and arrested 15 people.

In a decision that reflects the migratory tension at the border, the sports equipment chain Decathlon withdrew recreational boats from sale in several stores in northern France to prevent them from being used by migrants in their attempt to reach the United Kingdom.

In the first ten months of this year, 25,700 people have tried to cross the English Channel irregularly by sea to reach the United Kingdom, when in all of 2020 there were 9,551, according to data released this Monday by the British Ministry of the Interior.

The Ministry noted that 886 people arrived in the country last Saturday alone. At the beginning of this month, in addition, a figure considered record for arrivals in a single day was registered, with 1,185 migrants.

Tougher law

In a parliamentary appearance in the House of Commons, the British Interior Minister, Priti Patel, pointed this week to a “global migration crisis” and considered that the number of immigrants leaving from France seeking to reach this is “unacceptable”. country.

Patel defended that the so-called Nationality and Borders Bill – which, if it were to prosper and become legislation, would imply a maximum prison sentence for those who facilitate these trips – is the “long-term solution” to this problem.

In addition, if it becomes law, asylum applications would be assessed taking into account the way in which the applicant arrived in this country and, consequently, would penalize those refugees who reached the United Kingdom irregularly, according to the Government’s plan.

“British citizens have had enough of watching people die in the English Channel while unscrupulous criminal gangs profit from their miseries,” noted the “Tory” policy.

For its part, the French Interior Ministry says it is meeting its commitments to prevent the departure of boats with more than 600 policemen and gendarmes stationed on the north coast every day, 24 hours a day.

France says it has increased its success rate in stopping crossings, with 62.5% of departures stopped in 2021, up from 50% last year.

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