Kevin Foster appeared on Good Morning Britain following the migrant deaths in the Channel and was grilled over the UK Government’s handling of the crossings. Mr Foster explained the UK was helping asylum seekers and refugees in the areas they come from and pointed out many of those crossing the Channel had already passed through European countries, like France, which they could be resettled in. But host Susanna Reid pointed the finger towards the minister, attacking him for being incompassionate towards the plight of migrants, and said the UK needed to ramp up safe routes in the country for those in need or more deaths could happen.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mr Foster was grilled by Ms Reid over whose responsibility it was to protect the lives of migrants crossing the Channel.
Mr Foster explained he was upset to hear the news of the deaths and urged France and the UK to work together and “break the cycle of criminality” which allows traffickers to exploit asylum seekers.
Ms Reid then grilled Mr Foster over his compassion and wanted to know why the Government does not help those crossing the Channel by allowing them safe passage to process their applications in UK territory.
Mr Foster said: “Well first, that misses the fact that many people would have already made a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean and we want to focus on our safe and legal routes that target the regions directly concerned.”
But Ms Reid was not happy with the answer given by Mr Foster and replied: “The best solution is not to look after them in a compassionate way?
“What you’re saying we’ve got 27 People who’ve died and we’re getting the message again, well they should have just stayed in France.
“That’s effectively what people are going to hear this morning.”
Mr Foster bit back and said: “Susanna, I don’t think the safe and compassionate message is to say that to ignore the fact that thousands have died in the Mediterranean making the journey over there.
“Actually the genuinely safe and compassionate response is to look at providing support and resettlement from the regions themselves.
“We have routes available to do that, we’ve been working to see how some of our economic migration routes could be used to provide people opportunities for refugee camps.
“And remember, if you get a visa to the UK from though via our safe and legal route, you can literally fly here on a plane.”
At least 27 migrants died in the Channel after their boat capsized while making the journey to the UK.
French and UK leaders have pointed the finger at each other over the deaths with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin putting the blame on the UK and saying the Government could do more to help France.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held an emergency Cobra meeting following the news and revealed he and President Emmanuel Macron are in discussions to crack down on people traffickers who are helping people across the water.
Figures show 886 people reached the UK by crossing the Channel last Saturday which brings the year’s running total to around 25,600 confirmed crossings.
The total number of crossings in 2020 was 8,417, according to Home Office figures.
Before the tragedy this week, it was believed at least 10 people died while making the crossing as more journeys are made despite the cold weather.
A Home Office spokesperson added: “The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our new plan for immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.”
Mr Macron said he did not want to see the Channel become a “cemetery”.
Published at Thu, 25 Nov 2021 08:01:00 +0000