The death in the strait has increased tensions between Britain and France on immigration ships

At least 27 people have died in the English Channel, which has increased tensions between Britain and France over how to prevent migrants from taking small boats across the world’s busiest waterways

Although British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron promised that they would “do everything possible” to stop human smugglers from endangering lives, politicians on both sides of the strait have accused their counterparts of failing to prevent Wednesday’s tragedy.

British officials criticized France for rejecting the proposal of the British police and border guards to conduct joint patrols along the Strait with the French police. French authorities say the UK is triggering this crisis because if immigrants manage to cross the corridor, they can easily stay and work in the country.

Amidst mutual accusations, British lawmakers will debate the surge in the number of immigrants crossing the strait in small boats on Thursday. Macron plans to discuss this issue with EU officials.

At the same time, the immigrants continued to brave the cold weather in small boats and unseaworthy dinghies, hoping to reach the British coast to seek asylum or a better opportunity. So far this year, more than 25,000 people have crossed the dangerous strait, about three times the total in 2020.

Zoe Gardner of the Joint Commission on Immigration Welfare told the BBC: “This tragedy is completely predictable, indeed predictable, and completely preventable.” “This must be a sign by our government. At a turning point.”

“We need to provide people with alternatives to smuggling ships.”

Johnson said on Wednesday that it was clear that France’s actions to prevent migrant ships from leaving the French coast were “not enough,” despite the British government’s pledge this summer to provide millions of pounds in support to fund more police patrols on French beaches.

But Calais lawmaker Pierre-Henri Dumont told the BBC that more patrols “will not change anything because we have 200 to 300 kilometers (125 to 185 miles) of coastline that can be monitored 24/7.”

“I think it’s time for our two governments to stop blaming each other and try to talk to each other and find real solutions instead of crazy solutions like letting more and more people patrol and sending British troops to the French coast,” Du Meng said. “This is unacceptable, and it won’t change anything.”

On Thursday, Natalie Elphicke, a Conservative member of the British Parliament on the southern coast of the United Kingdom, stated that “it is important that the French police prevent the ship from leaving in the first place”.

“It’s disappointing that yesterday we saw French police standing aside in the camera while the boats gathered together, the immigrants got them, and then they left the French coast,” she told the Associated Press. “The United Kingdom has offered to provide assistance in terms of personnel and resources. I hope that France can now accept this proposal and other European countries will also come to help France.”

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Follow the Associated Press’s global migration report on https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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