UK: Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to fix the country’s “broken” asylum system after 27 migrants drowned to death in the UK’s worst single loss of life in the English Channel between France and England.
Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from strife-torn regions such as Somalia, Iraq, Yemen and Libya make perilous journeys on makeshift boats from Calais in France to Dover in England, an issue that has been a major migrant crisis between the British and French authorities.
Those who drowned on Wednesday in the deadliest tragedy to date included 17 men, seven women -one of whom was pregnant- and three children, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
The French Government has made five arrests of suspected human traffickers related to the incident. “It serves as the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs,” Priti Patel said in a statement on Twitter.
“It is why this government’s New Plan for Immigration will overhaul our broken asylum system and address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, and both leaders agreed on the urgency of stepping up joint efforts to prevent the deadly crossings and to do everything possible to stop the gangs responsible for putting people’s lives at risk.
Johnson noted that the joint efforts of both the governments, including UK funding towards the patrols, had so far failed. “I just want to say that I’m shocked and appalled and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea in the Channel,” Johnson said.Macron said France would not let the Channel become a “cemetery” and pointed out that 1,552 smugglers had been arrested in northern France and 44 smuggler networks dismantled since the start of 2021.
– THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS