After 31 deaths on the Channel, Boris Johnson vows to take on smuggling gangs.
After 31 migrants drowned in the Channel yesterday, Boris Johnson has vowed to bust smuggling gangs that are “getting away with murder.”
A small boat capsized off the coast of Calais, killing a young girl and five women.
In the deadliest day yet for illegal sea crossings to the UK, only two people were saved. One person went missing last night.
More migrants set off from a beach five miles north of Boulogne, as French police sat and watched.
A Daily Express team witnessed up to 40 men, women, and children flee Wimereux as armed Police Nationale officers sat in their patrol vehicle just yards away.
We were also present when they arrived in Dungeness, Kent, eight hours later.
Their crossing was one of 25 made by groups of migrants the day before.
French authorities rescued another 106 migrants yesterday after their boats ran into difficulties while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
The Prime Minister stated that the tragic loss of life yesterday demonstrated that “combined operations” to stop criminals from trafficking migrants across the Channel “haven’t been enough.”
Mr Johnson, who chaired a Cobra civil contingencies committee meeting on the subject, spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron last night and expressed his “appalled and deeply saddened” feelings.
“What this demonstrates is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous craft will stop at nothing,” he continued.
“This disaster highlights how dangerous it is to cross the Channel in this manner, as well as the importance of stepping up our efforts to disrupt the gangsters’ business model.”
“But, I’m afraid, it also shows that the operation that our friends on the beaches are conducting, which is supported, as you know, by £54 million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, and the technical support…they haven’t been enough.”
“Our offer is to increase our support, as well as to collaborate with our partners on the affected beaches.”
That’s something I’m hoping will be acceptable now, given what’s happened,” he said, implying that France had not always approached the problem in the way Britain believed it should.
“We’ve had trouble persuading some of our partners, particularly the French, to do things the way we think is best,” the PM said.
“Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”