ZAGREB, Nov 25 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that stronger European cooperation was needed after 27 migrants died a day earlier when their dinghy deflated as they made a perilous crossing of the English Channel.
“We need stronger European cooperation in this area. France is a transit country,” Macron said during a press conference in Zagreb.
“I will also say very clearly that our security forces are mobilised day and night,” the president added.
France and Britain have traded blame over the worst accident of its kind on record in the waterway separating the two countries.
Earlier, Britain’s Immigration Minister Kevin Foster said Britain is determined to smash the business model of people smugglers after the death of 27 migrants who tried to cross the English Channel.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will speak to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin later today.
“We’re prepared to offer support on the ground we’re prepared to offer resources,” Foster told BBC TV. “We’re prepared to offer, literally, people to go there and help and assist the French authorities.”
“We’re clear: we don’t just see this as an issue that France needs to deal with, but one that we want to work together with France and our wider European partners… to break the business model of these gangs,” Foster said.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
Photo – French President Emmanuel Macron. EPA-EFE/Toms Kalnins