Priti Patel Says There Is ‘No Quick Fix’ To Tackle Crossing After Deadliest Day

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uncle secretary Priti Patel said there is “no quick fix” to deal with migrants crossing the Channel in small boats as France demanded new aid and dozens of others made the dangerous crossing in the wake of the deadliest day of the crisis on record.

French president Emmanuel Macron said he asked for “additional help” from the UK on Thursday as authorities revealed pregnant women and children were among at least 27 people who died when a dinghy capsized off the coast of Calais.

Ms Patel said the drownings were a “terrible shock” and described the crossings as “absolutely unnecessary” following a renewal of an offer to send British officers to join patrols on French beaches during a meeting with the French minister for Interior Gerald Darmanin.

But the magnitude of the problem was further illustrated by new figures from the Home Office showing that asylum applications in the UK have reached their highest level in nearly 20 years, fueled by rising numbers of migrants across the Channel and an increase in the number after the coronavirus pandemic.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer expressed frustration that the Home Secretary is “doing nothing to address this effectively” after the “heartbreaking tragedy”.

In an urgent statement to MPs, Ms Patel said: “What happened yesterday was a terrible shock, it was not a surprise, but it is also a reminder of how vulnerable people are put at risk when they are in the hands of criminal gangs.

“There is also no quick fix. This is about tackling long-term pull factors, destroying criminal gangs that treat people like cargo, and tackling supply chains.”

After it was understood that the Prime Minister had made the same offer in an emergency call with Mr Macron, Ms Patel said she had made a “very clear” offer to her French counterpart of British officers who took part in “joint patrols to prevent these dangerous journeys.” appearance”. of taking place”.

But Pierre-Henri Dumont, the MP for Calais, rejected the “crazy” proposal that he says “will not change anything” along the vast coastline.

A group of people believed to be migrants wait for a waiting bus after being brought into Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) / PA wire

During a visit to Croatia, Macron said: “We are going to ask the British for extra help because all these men and these women do not want to stay in France.


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