French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the loss of 27 lives was an “absolute tragedy” as he blamed human trafficking gangs who promised people the “El Dorado of England” for a large fee.
Boris Johnson called on France to agree to joint police patrols along the French Channel coast, while French politicians pointed the finger at UK authorities for failing to tackle the issue.
The Prime Minister spoke to President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening in the wake of the worst incident of its kind in the Channel since the current migrant crisis began.
Downing Street said they had agreed to “keep all options on the table” in their efforts to break up the human trafficking gangs responsible for putting desperate people at risk in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.
And Mr Darmanin told French radio network RTL that the smugglers are “criminals, people who exploit the misery of others, of women and children – there were pregnant women, children who died yesterday on that boat… and for a few thousand euros they promise them ‘El Dorado in England’.
“And, sadly, this has been repeated every day for the last 20 years.”