French Interior Minister Criticizes UK Policy Amid Migrant Boat Tragedy in English Channel
09:05 GMT 25.11.2021 (Updated: 09:15 GMT 25.11.2021)
© AP Photo / Michel SpinglerActivists and members of associations defending migrants' rights gather with posters outside the port of Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. At least 31 migrants bound for Britain died Wednesday when their boat sank in the English Channel, in what France's interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date.
© AP Photo / Michel Spingler
PARIS (Sputnik) - French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has criticized UK's open-door labor policy for illegal immigrants amid the deadly migrant boat accident near the French shore, which became the biggest single loss of life in the English Channel.
Darmanin told broadcaster RTL that migrants are attracted to the UK by the British labour market. He noted that London must change its policy and exert pressure on the employers hiring illegal workers.
The minister also stressed that France must stop being the only country fighting the smugglers involved in the illegal trafficking of migrants.
He added that Germany and Belgium can also make more efforts to combat this problem.
On Wednesday, a boat with migrants sunk in the Strait of Dover. Paris had initially reported 31 deaths, but the number was later revised down to 27, according to government officials. The interior minister said that police had arrested five people suspected of organizing the illegal transfer of migrants.
Migrants often try to cross from France to the UK through the English Channel. British and French authorities have worked for years to reduce migrant flows between the countries, but without success. In the last few months, the UK Border Force reported a significant increase in the number of refugees trying to reach the British coast at the risk of their own lives.