After 27 migrants drowned near Dunkirk on Wednesday, British and French authorities are scrambling to crack down on boat migrants across the strait on Thursday.
French President Emmanuel Macron called on France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany to expedite the closure of human trafficking activities across Europe after the disaster. British and French officials said that some immigrants arrived on the French coast by road and set off from abroad. Cross the strait in a few hours.
French authorities announced that they have arrested 5 people on suspicion of smuggling and unintentional homicide related to the journey.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called for a coordinated “European response” to the issue, involving Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, in order to disrupt the routes used by human smugglers.
Speaking to RTL radio on Thursday morning, he said that since the beginning of this year, France has detained 1,500 human traffickers. “For example, the human smuggler we arrested last night had a German-registered car and bought his inflatable boat in Germany,” he said.
Darmanin added that human traffickers offered “El Dorado” to immigrants in England for several thousand euros.
Later on Thursday, he will discuss with British Home Secretary Priti Patel (Priti Patel) how to best reduce the number of people crossing the border in danger.
British Immigration Minister Kevin Foster told the BBC Nowadays The plan believes that the cooperation between the United Kingdom and France to solve the problem that caused more than 27,000 people to cross the strait by boat this year is crucial.
He added that in last year’s negotiations with the European Union on post-Brexit relations, the United Kingdom proposed to sign a bilateral agreement with France to repatriate asylum seekers who passed through safe countries before arriving in the United Kingdom but were rejected.
“We cannot force our partners to reach an agreement,” he said.
French officials said that the 27 people who died on Wednesday included 17 men, 7 women and 3 children. The two known survivors who are recovering from severe hypothermia are Iraqis and Somalis. This incident was the worst single tragedy in the English Channel, as boat migration became an important means of crossing from France to the UK at the end of 2018.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting with his Minister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, Minister of Defense, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Minister of Transport, and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs to discuss the cross-strait migration crisis. He is scheduled to hold a crisis meeting with officials on Thursday to discuss possible further measures to resolve the crisis.
British ministers are expected to urge France to agree to joint patrols on French beaches to combat human smuggling.
Foster told the BBC: “We are keen to study how to support French law enforcement agencies in responding to the situation in the Strait of Calais.”
He pointed out that a British helicopter assisted French waters in a search and rescue operation on Wednesday.
Although such proposals had previously run counter to concerns about French sovereignty, Bruno Bonnell, a member of the French National Assembly and a member of President Macron’s Marche Republican Party, told Nowadays He will support the joint patrol.