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Channel Migrant Crisis: Dozens Reported Dead as Boat Capsizes Off the Coast of Calais, Johnson Convenes Emergency Meeting

Dozens of illegal boat migrants have reportedly drowned in the English Channel after their small boat capsized while trying to reach Britain from France.


A huge rescue mission was undertaken on Wednesday after a boat full of illegal migrants capsized off the coast of Calais, France, in what is believed to be the deadliest drowning in the history of the Channel migrant crisis.


UPDATE 2000: French President Emmanuel Macron Makes Statement


Addressing the tragedy in the English Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday evening that “France will not let the Channel become a cemetery.”


The French leader went on to call for an “emergency meeting of European ministers” to discuss the migrant crisis.


Macron also demanded that there should be an “immediate strengthening of the resources” for the EU’s Frontex border agency. The French president concluded by vowing that “everything will be done to find and condemn those responsible” for the tragedy.


UPDATE 1930: French Interior Minister Says 31 Dead in the Channel


At a press conference from a hospital in Calais, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin reported that “to his knowledge” thirty-four people were on the migrant boat. So far, according to Darmanin, 33 people have been found, with 31 dead, the regional French newspaper La Voix Du Nord reported.


Read the original story below:


The migrant boat had reportedly sustained damage, yet the migrants chose to press on with the perilous journey to Britain. Two people smugglers are believed to be in custody in connection to the drownings.


Commenting on the loss of life, French Prime Minister Jean Castex described the incident as a “tragedy”, writing: “My thoughts are with the many missing and injured.”


French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that he felt “strong emotion” over the many deaths in the English Channel, blaming the criminal people smuggler networks who organise the dangerous migrant crossings.


Right-wing populist presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, took aim at the French government, saying: “Lax migration policies lead to tragedies.”


They would join the tragic trend seen across Europe in which illegal migrants are often lured to their deaths by people-smugglers, who take huge sums of money in exchange for providing passage on often unseaworthy boats.


The deaths on Wednesday in the English Channel is likely the largest loss of life in one incident in the history of the Channel migrant crisis. However, the busy shipping lane has claimed the lives of migrants attempting to reach the UK before.



In response to the latest deaths and the record numbers of illegals attempting to land in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a meeting of the UK government’s emergency response team, COBRA.


Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Johnson 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.


“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.”


So far this year, over 25,000 illegals have successfully reached British shores in small rubber dinghies from France, nearly three times as many did during all of last year.


Sharing footage reporting from the English Channel earlier today, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said that it was sad to hear of the reports of death, but that it did not come as a surprise. The Brexiteer has consistently warned that tragedy would strike in the English Channel should Boris Johnson’s government fail to stop the boats.


Following another boat full of migrants this morning, the Brexit leader reported that “there’s no Border Force”, claiming that they were “held up” with more migrants in Dover.


“These people are taking huge risks,” Farage said, adding: “The crisis isn’t getting any better.”




Source: Breitbart

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