Early discussions between UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin have been “positive” with both nations admitting they needed to collaborate to help tackle people smuggling.
Downing Street said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about the devastating scenes – where 17 men, seven women, one who was pregnant, and three children drowned – and agreed to “urgently” step up joint efforts.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have vowed to work together and with other nations to tackle people smuggling. Picture: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images
Mr Johnson said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” after hearing the news of the accident on the French coast.
“Now is the time for us all to step up, work together and do everything we can to stop these gangs who are getting away with murder,” he tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed he did not want the English Channel to become a “cemetery”.
Mr Macron has demanded the “immediate reinforcement” of Frontex, a European Border and Coastguard Agency, and called an emergency meeting of European leaders as migrant challenges continue across a number of countries.
Clothing, bags and life jackets left behind after the tragedy on the French coast. Picture: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images
French police officers patrolling the beach. More migrant boats arrived on the beach following the drowning of 27 people. Picture: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)
Migrant crossings have tripled alone this year in the region. Picture: Luke Dray/Getty Images
A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister added the UK and France will work closely with countries such as Belgium and Netherlands to tackle the issue effectively before people reach the coast of France.
Mr Macron urged Mr Johnson to not use the drowning tragedy “for political purposes”, the BBC has reported.
“Everything possible will be done to find and punish those responsible for the fatal crossing,” he said in a statement.
“We have all been moved by this tragedy, which has struck each of us in our deepest selves.”
‘Moral failure on both sides’ of English Channel migrant crisis
Five people have been arrested believed to be connected to the incident.
Mr Darmanin said it was the biggest migration tragedy on the stretch of dangerous waters.
It was initially thought 34 people had been on the boat when it capsized but the number was revised down to 27.
Despite the latest drowning tragedy another boat arrived hours after the deaths. Crossings have tripled this year alone around the world.
Migrants from countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq, often fleeing from poverty and conflict make the risky journey in boats often too small, unsafe with dozens crammed on board.

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