Channel deaths fuel UK-France tensions over migrant boats

The deaths of at least 27 people in the English Channel is fueling tensions between the U.K. and France over how to stop migrants from crossing the world’s busiest waterway in small boats

Via AP news wire
Thursday 25 November 2021 10:57

The deaths of at least 27 people in the English Channel is fueling tensions between the U.K. and France over how to stop migrants from crossing the world’s busiest waterway in small boats.

Despite a pledge from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron that they would “do everything possible” to stop people smugglers from endangering lives, politicians on both sides of the channel are already blaming their counterparts for failing to prevent Wednesday's tragedy.

U.K. officials criticize France for rejecting their offer of British police and border officers to conduct joint patrols along the channel coast with French police. French authorities say Britain is stoking the crisis because it is too easy for migrants to remain in the country and work if they manage to cross the channel.

Amid the finger pointing, British lawmakers on Thursday will debate the soaring number of migrants who are crossing the channel in small boats. Macron is scheduled to discuss the issue with European Union officials.

Meanwhile, migrants are continuing to brave frigid weather in small boats.

“This tragedy was completely predictable, indeed it was predicted and it was completely preventable,” Zoe Gardner, of the Joint Council of Welfare for Immigrants, told the BBC “This has to be a time for our government to mark a turning point.''

"We need to offer people alternatives to the smuggling boats.”

___

Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in