Grief on deaths of 27 refugees crossing the Channel in a small boat to the UK is magnified knowing that the tragedy was very obvious, and could have been avoided. Today’s migratory toxicology means that it often takes disaster to motivate action. The hope is that this event will trigger effective effort to prevent the number of refugees risking their lives from France to Britain. There is no guarantee. Yet failure will leave more and more, and worse, catastrophic accidents.
Pointing political fingerprints with London and Paris does not really help. Both countries share responsibility for this week’s deaths of 17 men, seven women – one pregnant woman – and three children. Britain’s efforts to curb those seeking asylum by creating unsafe conditions and financing French security. failed. The number of migrants to Britain by small boats has tripled this year to 26,000. This shows, among other things, the success of choking other methods, such as sticking to trucks. It shows, however, that the determination to reach the UK has not diminished, as well as to offer more and more businesses to smugglers.
France has made significant efforts to combat cross-border crime. French police reports are looking at where inflatable loads are moving indicating that not all of them are volunteers. France has a moral obligation for its citizens to refrain from allowing rape and sailing unsafe boats that could lead to their death.
Both countries have a responsibility, too, to allow differences – on Brexit, the fishing right, or the Australian-UK-US security agreement that did not include Paris – to stand on a united front. Real progress in dealing with the problem of migrants depends on abandoning such divisions. The British Conservative government in particular – despite concerns about post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland – should avoid war with the EU and France as a political option.
A two-way approach is required. The first is to create safe, secure ways for people to apply for asylum in Britain. Immigrants may not be able to do so unless they are already in the UK, but have no way to get around except on small boats. The Boris Johnson government is pampanpani from right-wing activists like former Ukip leader Nigel Farage to take a firmer stance. However, establishing legitimate corridors and regulatory mechanisms can make this seem like a challenge for immigrants while allowing for a compassionate and effective approach to preventing the use of boats and the risks it poses.
Britain after the Brexit issue
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The government can estimate that, while the Channel crossing contributed to an 18 per cent increase in UK asylum requesters to 37,562 in the year to September, this is less than half the rate of the last two decades. With a small portion of France 87,180 and Germany 113,625 in the year to June.
Some migrants, fearing rejection or seeking to smuggle in, simply increase the illegal flow. Therefore, the second phase should be more cohesive and cohesive to reduce smuggling – not only between the UK and France, but also the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Britain will also have to seek redress for the return of asylum seekers to the first EU country they have visited, which was lost after Brexit.
Failing human trafficking can provide a moment for politicians of all ages to deal with the failures, divisions and prejudices that would otherwise allow it to happen. Johnson of the UK and French President Emmanuel Macron have the opportunity to show that they too can overcome this problem.
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