Johnson urges France to do more as migrant boat sinks with loss of 31


oris Johnson has urged France to step up efforts to stem the flow of migrants crossing the Channel after a boat capsized off the French coast with the loss of 31 lives.

The chief Minister said the tragic incident showed the operations that have taken place to date “haven’t been enough”.

He said he wanted to work with the French authorities to “demolish” the business form of human traffickers who were “literally getting away with murder”.

President Emmanuel Macron called for an emergency meeting of European ministers, the BBC reported, as he vowed: “France will not let the Channel become a cemetery.”

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the dead included five women and a girl.

He told an impromptu news conference in Calais that the boat which sank had been “very frail”, likening it to “a pool you blow up in your garden”.

He said 34 people were believed to be on the boat. Authorities found 31 bodies and two survivors while one person was missing.

An emergency search was sparked when a fishing boat sounded the alarm earlier on Wednesday after seeing several people in the sea off the coast of France.

A joint search and rescue operation by the French and British authorities was finally called off late on Wednesday.

Speaking to broadcasters in Downing Street, Mr Johnson – who chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra civil contingencies committee – said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” by what had happened.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

“What this shows is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous crafts will literally stop at nothing,” he said.

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