Boris Johnson 'shocked and appalled' after at least 30 die in English Channel

Boris Johnson said the deaths in the Channel were “appalling” after more than 30 migrants died after a boat sank.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” after at least 30 migrants died when their boat sank in the Channel.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” after at least 30 migrants died when their boat sank in the Channel.

At least 30 people have died, with a number still missing at sea.

The Prime Minister said the deaths in the Channel were “appalling” and “underscored how dangerous it is” to cross from France.

Speaking to reporters at Downing Street, he said: “I just want to say that I’m shocked and appalled and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea in the Channel.

“I think the details are still coming in but more than 20 people have lost their lives.

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“My thoughts and sympathies are first of all with the victims and their families. It’s an appalling thing that they have suffered.

“But I also want to say that this disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Channel in this way.”

He admitted efforts so far to stem the flow of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats “haven’t been enough”.

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English Channel: Migrants die after boat capsizes

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He told broadcasters in Downing Street: “What this shows is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous crafts will literally stop at nothing.

“But what I’m afraid it also shows is that the operation that is being conducted by our friends on the beaches, supported as you know with £54 million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, the technical support we’ve been giving, they haven’t been enough.

“Our offer is to increase our support but also to work together with our partners on the beaches concerned, on the launching grounds for these boats.

“That’s something I hope will be acceptable now in view of what has happened.

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“Because there is no doubt at all that the gangs concerned, unless they are shown that their business model won’t work, that they can’t simply get people over the Channel from France to the UK, they will continue to deceive people, to put people’s lives at risk and, as I say, to get away with murder.”

Johnson also suggested the French government had not always approached the problem of the migrants crossing “in a way we think the situation deserves”.

Asked by broadcasters in Downing Street what was going to change after Wednesday’s tragedy, the Prime Minister said: “We’ve had difficulties persuading some of our partners, particularly the French, to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves.

“I understand the difficulties that all countries face, but what we want now is to do more together – and that’s the offer we are making.”

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Asked whether he had confidence in the job Home Secretary Priti Patel is doing, Mr Johnson replied: “Yes, of course.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the deaths of 30 people after a boat capsized in the Channel were the “starkest possible reminder” of the dangers.

She tweeted: “My thoughts are with the families of all of those who have tragically lost their lives in French waters today.

“It serves as the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs.

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“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.”