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World: Johnson calls for British police patrols along French coast to stop migrant crossings after 27 die in Channel

France clears major migrant camp amid UK tensions

  France clears major migrant camp amid UK tensions About 1,500 people are evacuated near Dunkirk, as the UK and France vow to tackle illegal migration.French officers pulled down tents and evacuated up to 1,500 migrants from the site, near Dunkirk, early on Tuesday.

French police officers pass a deflated dinghy on the beach in Wimereux near Calais © PA French police officers pass a deflated dinghy on the beach in Wimereux near Calais

British patrols along the French coast are needed to prevent migrant boats from attempting to cross the Channel, the prime minister has told France after 27 people died near Calais.

Five women and a girl were among the victims after their boat capsized in the water. One of the dead women was later reported to have been pregnant.

Two people were rescued and four people-smugglers have been arrested, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said.

Boris Johnson offers joint patrols as Macron calls for strengthening of European border force - live updates

Fresh UK-France tensions over Channel crossings - as minister admits only five migrants returned to Europe

  Fresh UK-France tensions over Channel crossings - as minister admits only five migrants returned to Europe Efforts between the UK and France to stem illegal Channel crossings have been hit by fresh tensions - on the same day it was revealed only five migrants have so far been returned to Europe this year after making the journey to Britain by boat. © Reuters Boats used in previous migrant crossings are moored at a harbour in Dover Home Secretary Priti Patel this week met her French counterpart, Gerald Darmanin, after the number of people arriving in the UK via Channel boat crossings recently hit a record for a single day.

Boris Johnson spoke to Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening in the wake of the tragedy - the worst incident of its kind in the Channel since the current migrant crisis began.

27 people died crossing the Channel on Wednesday © PA 27 people died crossing the Channel on Wednesday

Immigration compliance minister Tom Pursglove confirmed Mr Johnson had renewed a previous offer to send UK police and Border Force officers to mount joint patrols with the French.

He said Wednesday's deaths showed the two countries need to deepen their cooperation when dealing with the issue.

"It is the case that in the past we have offered to host and to help with joint patrols," he told BBC2's Newsnight on Wednesday.

Private ambulances arrived at a Calais warehouse on Wednesday evening © PA Private ambulances arrived at a Calais warehouse on Wednesday evening

"I think that could be invaluable in helping to address this issue. I really do hope that the French will reconsider that offer."

'Her incompetence on this issue is dangerous': Home sec's handling of migrant crisis attacked by Labour

  'Her incompetence on this issue is dangerous': Home sec's handling of migrant crisis attacked by Labour Labour has accused Priti Patel of "comprehensively failing" on the issue of migrant crossings in the Channel after a record number of people arrived on British shores in small boats last week. © PA Labour has accused Priti Patel of 'failing' on the issue of migrant crossings in the English Channel Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told Sky News' Trevor Phillips On Sunday that his counterpart's "incompetence on this issue is dangerous".

Downing Street has said it agreed to "keep all options on the table".

Following the leaders' phone call, a Downing Street spokesperson said they "agreed on the urgency" of stepping up joint efforts to stop smuggling gangs.

The migrant crisis has become an increasingly tense subject for the UK and France.

Following a meeting of the Cobra emergencies committee, Mr Johnson said it was clear French patrols "haven't been enough", despite £54 million of UK support.

Conditions in the Channel were cool but calm on Wednesday, which may explain why so many people braved the crossing to the UK.

The deaths occurred after a "very frail" inflatable dinghy capsized, with fishermen reporting more than a dozen bodies motionless in the sea. Private ambulances arrived at a Calais warehouse on Wednesday evening, where identification of the victims is ongoing.

Another group of migrants arrived at Dover harbour earlier on Wednesday © Reuters Another group of migrants arrived at Dover harbour earlier on Wednesday

Lille prosecutor Carole Etienne, whose office is overseeing the investigation, said the investigation may involve multiple countries as more information about the passengers emerges.

Franco-British feuding thwarts Channel migrant response

  Franco-British feuding thwarts Channel migrant response The bodies were barely out of the water after the most deadly day ever for migrants crossing the English Channel before accusations began to fly over who was to blame for the tragedy. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is desperate to see an end to migrant boats crossing from France, pointed the finger at Paris after a dinghy sank off the port of Calais on Wednesday, claiming 27 lives. "We’ve had difficulties persuading some of our partners, particularly the French, to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves," Johnson told reporters.

Mr Darmanin described the boat as "like a pool you blow up in your garden".

The Dover Strait is the world's busiest shipping lane and more than 25,700 people have completed the dangerous journey to the UK this year.

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That's three times the total for 2020, according to data compiled by PA news agency.

Meanwhile, more than 47,000 attempted crossings have taken place, with 7,800 migrants rescued from the water since 1 January 2021, according to the French president.

  Johnson calls for British police patrols along French coast to stop migrant crossings after 27 die in Channel © Sky News Screen Grab

Mr Macron said: "France will not let the Channel become a graveyard."

He has called for an emergency meeting of European ministers and an "immediate strengthening" of Frontex, the EU's border agency.

He also said France had been working with the UK "for several months" to fight people smugglers and that 1,552 had been arrested.

Police officers stand next to a fire command centre arriving at Calais harbour © Getty Police officers stand next to a fire command centre arriving at Calais harbour

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council urged the government to rethink its approach to migration.

The migrant debate can't escape European politics

  The migrant debate can't escape European politics UK-French rivalry is making a common solution difficult, says the BBC's Europe Editor Katya Adler.First: domestic politics. Boris Johnson promised to "take back control" of UK borders after Brexit, but the influx of dinghy arrivals across the Channel doesn't exactly scream watertight borders. And the EU is keen to point out that the "skinny" Brexit deal Mr Johnson wanted, keeping Brussels very much at arms' length, didn't allow for a migration agreement that might have come in useful now.

"Surely a tragedy of this magnitude is the wake up call our government needs to change its approach and finally commit to an expansion of safe routes for those men, women, and children in desperate need of protection," he said.

Emergency services were at Calais harbour on Wednesday night © Getty Emergency services were at Calais harbour on Wednesday night

France to offer Johnson EU deal on migrants .
France's Prime Minister Jean Castex is preparing to write to British counterpart Boris Johnson with proposals for a new post-Brexit deal on migration with the EU after the disaster in the Channel last week that left 27 migrants dead, a minister said Monday. "Mr Prime Minister Jean Castex will write tomorrow to the British prime minister to outline the French demands in more detail and in full and our point of view," he said, adding that theCastex will write to Johnson on Tuesday, less than a week after a letter penned by the British premier to President Emmanuel Macron and immediately posted on Twitter angered France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

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