Susanna Reid has said it’s ‘our responsibility’ to look after migrants on their journey across the English Channel after 27 people have died.
Five woman and a young girl were among the victims after their flimsy boat sunk in the Pas-de-Calais shortly after leaving France yesterday afternoon. One of the dead women was later reported to have been pregnant.
It is the worst tragedy of its kind since the current migrant crisis began.
Speaking to the Immigration Minister, Kevin Foster, Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna said: ‘Their lives are at risk.
‘We wouldn’t let them do that in other situations so why do we let them do it across the English Channel? Why don’t we enable them, somehow, to do it safely and organise it and, once they’re here, we process their claim?’
Mr Foster responded: ‘First that misses the fact that those people would have already made a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean and we want to focus our safe and legal routes on helping people directly from the regions concerned.
‘So for example we flew 16,000 people out of Afghanistan in August, we resettled 20,000 from Syria, we’ve offered to do 20,000 from Afghanistan on top…’
Susanna interjected: ‘As we know, we left lots of people behind, so then they’ve made the journey over to France and our responsibility really kicks in, doesn’t it? It’s our responsibility then to look after them on that journey.’
Boris Johnson issued a statement after 27 people died in the Channel (Picture: Getty Images)
Following the tragedy, the Prime Minister urged France to act more forcefully to stem the flow of crossings and agree to joint police patrols along the French Channel coast.
Speaking after chairing a Cobra meeting, he said: ‘This disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the Channel in this way, and it also shows how vital it is that we now step up our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who are sending people to sea in this way.’
He added: ‘The operation being conducted by our friends on the beaches, supported as you know with £54 million from the UK, the technical support we’ve been giving, hasn’t been enough.
More: Good Morning Britain
‘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 because there is no doubt the gangs concerned will continue to deceive people, to put people’s lives at risk and to get away with murder.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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