The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Britain and France to ‘intensify’ co-operation to prevent migrant deaths.

British officials and law enforcement officers will travel to France on Friday “to intensify joint co-operation and intelligence sharing” after the death by drowning of 27 people attempting to cross the English Channel.

Home secretary Priti Patel said on Thursday night she would meet her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin over the weekend to discuss how they can work together to prevent people seeking asylum from making the dangerous journey in flimsy boats.

Ms Patel told the House of Commons earlier that there was no simple solution to the crisis and that it required a co-ordinated international effort to stop the crossings.

“What happened yesterday was a dreadful shock, it was not a surprise but it is also a reminder of how vulnerable people are put at peril when in the hands of criminal gangs,” she said.

‘No quick fix’

“There is also no quick fix. This is about addressing long-term pull factors, smashing the criminal gangs that treat human beings as cargo and tackling supply chains.”

Ms Patel said she had offered to send British officers to France to help to secure the 250km coastline and to prevent vulnerable people from risking their lives by getting into unseaworthy boats. She said she had sought a returns agreement with France so that people arriving in Britain could be sent back across the Channel.

“I have once again reached out and made my offer very clear to France in terms of joint France and UK co-operation, joint patrols to prevent these dangerous journeys from taking place. I have offered to work with France to put more officers on the ground and do absolutely whatever is necessary to secure the area so that vulnerable people do not risk their lives by getting into unseaworthy boats,” she said.

“Yesterday was the moment many of us had feared for many years. The criminals who facilitate these journeys are motivated by self-interest and profit, not compassion.”

Turning boats back

She said she would do whatever was necessary to deal with the crisis and she would not rule out turning migrant boats back at sea, something the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR has condemned as dangerous.

Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised Ms Patel for “playing to the headlines” over the migrant crisis but failing to do anything to deal with it. Former immigration minister John Hayes was among the Conservative MPs who warned about the electoral consequences of failing to stop people making the crossing.

“People who voted to take back control have every right to ask the question, if you can’t protect the integrity of your borders, what can you control?” he said.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Labour would vote against the government’s proposal to reject asylum applications from people such as those who arrive on small boats, who enter the country unofficially.

“She knows the opposition will not support a Bill that breaches the refugee convention and damages our standing around the world,” he said.

Christine McGuinness on 'amazing' autism diagnosis

Christine McGuinness on 'amazing' autism diagnosis

Experts say thousands of cases of autism in women could be going undiagnosed. Presenter Melanie Sykes and reality TV star Christine McGuinness are among those who were told as adults they have autism. Why are women prone to such late diagnosis? SU...

Maine police department offers $20,000 signing bonus for new hires amid shortages.

Maine police department offers $20,000 signing bonus for new hires amid shortages.

Brewer police chief Jason Moffitt joined 'Fox & Friends Weekend' to discuss the incentives offered to attract new hires, including a $20,000 signing bonus. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX...

In Full: Trevor Phillips On Sunday

In Full: Trevor Phillips On Sunday

On this week's show, Trevor Phillips speaks to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, and Jeremy Richardson, chief executive of the Four Seasons Health Group. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us ...

Vigil held for six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Vigil held for six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

A vigil is being held in Solihull to remember six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Sky's Dan Whitehead describes the "upsetting and moving occasion" as people release balloons into the sky. The boy, from Solihull, West Midlands, was poisoned, starv...

3 86

Oregon considering permanent mask mandate

Oregon considering permanent mask mandate

Oregon congressional candidate Alek Skarlatos joined 'Fox & Friends Weekend' to discuss the possibility, calling it a 'huge overreach.' #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) ...

GOP feud creates problems for Kevin McCarthy

GOP feud creates problems for Kevin McCarthy

Amid a week of Republican infighting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Steve Bannon on his radio show that she only believes Republicans taking back the House is worth it if the "right people" are elected. #CNN #News