Shipwreck in the English Channel leads to the exchange of accusations between France and the United Kingdom – 25/11/2021 – World

The governments of France and the United Kingdom exchanged accusations on Thursday (25), the day after 27 migrants died trying to cross the English Channel, in the biggest disaster of its kind in the region since 2014, when data began to be collected.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the two countries needed to work together but quickly added that London had poor immigration management. He told local radio that migrants are often attracted by the British job market. “It’s an international problem; we tell our Belgian, German and British friends that they should help us.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Paris is not doing enough to control the flow of migrants. On the possibility of offering a safe route for migrants to seek asylum in France, he said, through a spokesperson, that the approach would increase the pull factors and “would create an additional factor for gangs to exploit people with these dangerous attempts [de travessia]”.

British Secretary of State for Immigration Affairs Tom Pursglove told the BBC that Boris had reiterated to the French government a proposal previously rejected by Paris to organize French-British patrols along the French coasts in order to prevent vessels departing from the area. to the UK.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in turn, defended the actions of Paris. During an official visit to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, he said that France is only a transit country for many migrants and that greater cooperation from the European community is needed to curb the flow of illegal immigration.

Among the victims of the wreck are 17 men, seven women and three children, according to the most recent information provided by local authorities in Lille, a French city near the country’s coast.

Minister Darmanin informed that two people survived — an Iraqi and a Somali — and were suffering from severe hypothermia until this Wednesday night (24). The remains of the vessel will be examined to clarify the causes of the wreck, and five people have been detained so far on suspicion of human trafficking.

Since the beginning of the year, around 31,500 migrants have crossed the English Channel, and at least 7,800 have been rescued by security agents, according to local data. The flow has not even reduced with the low winter temperatures.

The collaboration between France and the United Kingdom in the area to contain historical migration is governed by the Le Touquet agreement, signed in 2003. The understanding provides for French immigration control agents to work at British border posts and vice versa.

French politicians linked to the ultra-right have already tried to make the country abandon the agreement. On Thursday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in a statement, that the understanding will continue to be the basis for controlling the flow at the border.

NGOs dealing with the issue of migration manifested themselves after the death of the 27 migrants, demanding more action from governments. Some claim that the way policing is done on the ground puts migrants at greater risk as they try to evade agents.

At a makeshift camp in the port city of Dunkirk, migrants said that despite the incident, they would continue to try to reach the UK. “What happened was sad, and we are scared, but we have to go by boat, there is no other way,” Manzar, 28, of Iran, told Reuters news agency.

“Maybe it’s dangerous, maybe we’ll die, but it’s our chance,” added the young man, who left his home country six months ago and arrived in France 20 days ago, after traveling on foot across Europe.


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