The awfulness of the tragedy in the Channel inevitably gets a lot of coverage this morning and one of the issues is that there appears to be no obvious solution.
The idea that British troops or other forces should patrol French beaches doesn’t seem feasible. The French government is hardly going to allow armed forces from a foreign power to enter its territory.
The real tragedy is that the people involved are so desperate that they are prepared to take any risk in order to get into the UK.
One of the things that possibly makes the UK attractive to many of the migrants from trouble-torn countries is that they are more likely to have some knowledge of English than other languages. This is from the editorial in today’s Times:
It is not the case that all those crossing the Channel are economic migrants: almost 70 per cent end up being granted refugee status. Nor is it the case that migrants are refusing to claim asylum in other safe countries. Germany has received more than 130,000 asylum applications this year, and France 70,000. But those who have a legitimate claim for asylum in Britain at present have little option but to put themselves boats. A programme to accept 20,000 Afghan refugees promised after the fall of Kabul is not yet operational while one set up in 2019 to accept 5,000 refugees a year from around the world has taken just 1,171..There are no easy answers. Ministers are rightly wary of creating a magnet for migrants by opening offshore application centres. Nor can Britain turn itself into a fortress, not without squandering the goodwill of those whose help it needs.