After claiming that there is no “safe” route for individuals escaping violence and poverty to enter the UK, Sadiq Khan called on the government for safe passage for asylum seekers on Friday.
A week after 27 migrants drowned in the Channel, London Mayor Boris Johnson issued a statement expressing his outrage.
“What is a safe way to get to the UK? There isn’t one. So don’t be surprised if people find unsafe ways to get across the Channel,” he warned.
“The UK should be providing safe passages for asylum seekers.”
As terrible details of last Wednesday’s tragedy, the worst in recent history on the Channel, have surfaced, the government has been under increasing pressure to act this week.
Aboard Wednesday, two witnesses told The Guardian that those on the boat had called British authorities for aid twice, only to be informed they were in French seas and should contact France.
Small boat commander Dan O’Mahoney was appointed by the Home Secretary last year. According to the Home Office, he was responsible for making the Channel route impractical for small boat crossings.
“At this stage, I can’t tell you with any certainty whether we definitely received a call from that boat or not,” O’Mahoney said when asked about the survivors’ assertion by Harriet Harman MP on Wednesday. The coastguard is looking at it.”
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has been slammed for not working with the French to deter migrants from undertaking the risky trek through the busiest shipping route in the world.
According to multiple media sources, the Home Office rejected a proposal from the French to create a processing centre in Dunkirk, which may assist reduce the number of unlawful crossings by providing documents for refugees to come legitimately to the United Kingdom.
In a letter to Patel, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants asks for a new mechanism to enable migrants to petition for pre-refugee status. At the moment, a person may only apply for asylum in the United Kingdom after they have arrived.
On Wednesday, a ceremony was held in Dover to remember those who died in the latest Channel disaster. There were around 100 attendees.
Despite Dover being the main landing and processing place for asylum seekers, Mayor of Dover Gordon Cowan told PoliticsJOE that he had not spoken with Patel.
He said, “I’m very happy to meet Priti Patel, tonight tomorrow, whenever.” “She needs to understand this is not going away, and offering the French millions of pounds to push them back to sea is not the answer.”
“People want to see no more deaths, and to have no more deaths, we’ve got to get rid of those little boats and make sure it’s a safe journey here to Dover.”