CALAIS, France (CNN) – There is no “quick fix” to a growing migrant crisis with an increasing number of illegal crossings through the English Channel, according to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.
In a statement to the UK House of Commons Thursday following a deadly dingy sinking that killed at least 27 people, Patel said the matter will require a “Herculean effort” from “all international partners and agencies.”
She called the incident “a dreadful shock” but “not a surprise.”
Addressing ministers, Patel said that such channel crossings “are absolutely unnecessary.”
Patel stressed that there is “no quick fix” to the issue, saying that is about “addressing long term pull factors, smashing the criminal gangs that treat human beings as cargo, and tackling supply chains.”
Following the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin saying he had asked the UK to respond to French questioning, after the incident, Patel emphasized she wants to “cooperate” with international colleagues.
The UK she said given “unflinching and generous support” to France to end “this terrible trade in people smuggling,” Patel added. The continuation of the crisis has however demonstrated that the UK and France “need to do more together”.
Patel maintained that the Nationality and Borders Bill which is at the report stage of the legislative process will address “many of these underlying factors to deter illegal migration.”
The bill which would put in place put a one-stop appeals system and allow asylum claims to be processed outside the UK has garnered criticism from the opposition and human rights lawyers who claim it would breach international law.
She asked politicians who have opposed the bill to reconsider, calling it a long-term solution “to a long-term problem that successive governments have faced over decades.”