Migrants channel crossing – latest: Boris Johnson ‘deeply saddened’ after over 30 die in boat sinking

Boris Johnson offers ‘increased support’ to France amid migrant crisis

Boris Johnson said he was “shocked” and “appalled” that 31 migrants drowned in the Channel after their inflatable boat sank in the worst disaster on record involving migrants in that stretch of water.

The prime minister urged France to step up efforts to stem the flow of people crossing to the UK in small vessels.

French police have arrested four suspected traffickers on suspicion of being linked to people-smuggling.

The country’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin said 34 people had been on board, 31 of whom had died, two were rescued and one was still missing.

“There are two survivors … but their life is in danger, they are suffering from severe hypothermia,” he said.

A French coastguard official confirmed that a rescue operation was under way off the coast of Calais, after a fishing boat sounded the alarm.

Meanwhile, the Labour peer Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis and reached England as a refugee in 1939, told The Independent that the British government must ensure that refugees with a connection to Britain be given a “legal and orderly” way of reaching the country.

More than 25,700 people have made the dangerous sea journey from France to the UK so far this year, more than three times higher than the total last year.


Four people arrested, says Darminin

French police have arrested four people suspected of being linked to the drowning, the country’s interior minister Gerald Darminin says.

He called the sinking “the biggest (migrant) tragedy that we have seen”.

Jane Dalton24 November 2021 19:21


Hunt for more survivors will go on

A search party will continue to look for any more survivors, the French interior minister has said.

Gerald Darmanin told journalists: “What happened today to our knowledge is that 33 people were drowned between Calais and Dunkirk.

“There are two people who have been saved, and their days are numbered.

“Amongst the 33 dead, as far as we know five were women and one was a little girl.

“We don’t have any more information with regards to those people.

“We will carry on searching in the hours to come to see if there are any more people.”

Jane Dalton24 November 2021 19:18


Home Office admits new immigration plans ‘unlikely’ to reduce Channel crossings

To assess the validity of the claim Priti Patel makes below, I am re-upping this piece from September.

Two months ago, the Home Office admitted that evidence showing its new immigration plans will reduce Channel crossings was “limited”.

Its equality impact assessment for the Nationality and Borders Bill added that department’s plans carried “significant scope for indirect discrimination” and “potential for direct discrimination on the basis of race”.

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 19:04


Patel responds to mass drowning

Home secretary Priti Patel has said her thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives today.

She added that the accident highlights the dangers of crossing the Channel.

“It is why this government’s New Plan for Immigration will overhaul our broken asylum system and address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the United Kingdom,” she claimed.

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:58


Biggest single loss of life in Channel, IOM confirms

The deaths caused today by the sinking of a migrant dinghy constitute the biggest known single loss of life in the Channel, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said.

The organisation stated collecting data in 2014.

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:56


Video: PM responds to migrant deaths

Boris Johnson offers ‘increased support’ to France amid migrant crisis

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:50


PM vows to support France in cracking down on people smuggling gangs

As mentioned earlier, the prime minister has said the UK will do more to help France tackle people smuggling gangs in light of today’s tragedy.

Here’s our political editor Andrew Woodcock with more details:

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:39


Five migrants still missing at sea, says Calais MP

At least 29 migrants died when their boat sunk earlier and five people are still missing at sea, the French MP for Calais has said.

Pierre-Henri Dumont told Sky News: “The latest information I have is that there are 29 dead and five who are still missing.

“We are still looking for nationalities and how many men, women and children there are.”

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:31


Photo: Boat carrying bodies of migrants reaches Calais

A rescue boat carrying the bodies of migrants who drowned in the Channel reached Calais port on Wednesday evening.

The vessel is owned by the French volunteer sea rescue organisation Societe Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM).

The boat reached Calais harbour on Wednesday evening.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:29


Boris Johnson pledges increased support to France

Boris Johnson has pledged to increase his government’s support to France over migrant crossings, following the deaths of dozens of asylum seekers in the Channel on Wednesday.

The prime minister said: “I say to our partners across the channel – now is the time for us all to step up, to work together to do everything we can to break these gangs.”

“Our offer is to increase our support (to France)… and that’s something I hope will be acceptable now in view of what has happened,” he added.

Earlier, he had expressed how “shocked and appalled” he was by the deaths.

Rory Sullivan24 November 2021 18:22


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