A battle of words breaks out between Great Britain and France over the guilt for the sinking of a dinghy, in which 27 people were killed.


A battle of words breaks out between Great Britain and France over the guilt for the sinking of a dinghy, in which 27 people were killed.

Britain and France are embroiled in a war of words today over who is responsible for the deaths of 27 people, including a pregnant woman and children, who died trying to cross the English Channel.

It came when the French Home Office downgraded the death toll from 31 to 27. Seventeen men, seven women – one of them pregnant – and three children were among those killed, according to a source from the French public prosecutor’s office.

The dead are described as originating in the Middle East. There were two survivors.

The International Organization for Migration said it was the largest single loss of life in the English Channel since data collection began in 2014.

A fifth person was arrested Thursday morning, French authorities said.

Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, made a series of statements expressly blaming Britain for the failure.

“The British government is to blame. I think Boris Johnson has made a cynical decision to blame France over the past year and a half, “she said, according to French media reports.

Corresponding The telegraph, She also accused Mr. Johnson of “forcing our country to endure this setup because he does not have the courage to take responsibility in his country”.

French Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said this morning that countries like the UK could do more to stop the border crossings, claiming that people are “often drawn to the UK labor market”.

Meanwhile, a French politician claimed that trafficking bosses lead comfortable lives in “beautiful mansions” in Britain.

“What are we doing in France? We are arresting the smugglers, ”said Franck Dhersin, Vice-President for Transport of the northern region of Hauts-de-France, the French television broadcaster BFMTV.

“There is only one way to fight them – we have to stop the organizations, you have to arrest the Mafia chiefs. And the Mafia bosses live in London. You live peacefully in London, in beautiful villas, earn hundreds of millions of euros every year and reinvest this money in the city. “

The head of a French humanitarian organization said people made the crossing because of the lack of safe and legal routes to the UK.

Maya Konforti, general secretary of the Auberge des Migrants, told French broadcaster BFMTV that “the existence of smugglers is a necessity; a necessity because there is no legal way to apply for asylum in the UK ”.

But British politicians have denied the allegations and one peer condemned France for turning the tragedy into “another guilt game”.

Baroness Kate Hoey told Sky News: “It’s pretty unfortunate that the first thing we wake up with is another guilt game.

“I am very disappointed that the French interior minister said that.”

The peer will have a debate on migrants in the House of Lords today.

Baroness Hoey called on France and the UK to make a “joint effort” to find a solution to the migrant situation and suggested that more should be done on French soil to prevent migrants from entering boats in the first place.

She added: “France has great responsibility to take on.”

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke also urged the French to step up patrols to prevent migrants from entering the waters.

“The tragedy of yesterday cannot be repeated and we must act urgently and quickly to ensure that these boats do not get into the water,” she told BBC Breakfast.

“I would like to see patrols stepped up on the beaches to make sure the boats don’t get into the water safely in the first place.”

The Tory MP also said she was shocked to see footage yesterday of French police doing nothing to prevent migrants from boarding boats.

“Yesterday we saw footage of the French police watching people getting the boat ready, picking up the engine and going into the water on the French side,” she said.

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