Would the tragic migrant boat have been helped earlier if Albanians had been on board? | UK news | Daily News Byte

Would the tragic migrant boat have been helped earlier if Albanians had been on board?  |  UK news

 | Daily News Byte

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Twelve hours after Rishi Sunak set out his five-point plan to tackle illegal immigration, around 50 people disembarked off the coast of Calais, climbed into an inflatable dinghy and set off for England.

It was around 11pm on a Tuesday night, and the area was snowing lightly as the temperature dropped to -2C.

By early Wednesday morning, the boat was off course, flooded, children were screaming and a passenger had called a French refugee charity begging for help.

“We’re in a boat and we have a problem,” he said in a hoarse call.

“Please help.

“We have kids and families in the boat.

“The water is coming.”

In which four people including a teenager died.

But this number could double, with officials suggesting the death toll could rise to seven or eight.

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Senior Home Office sources told Sky News they were surprised the boat had not been spotted, tracked and intercepted earlier.

The rescue operation was started three to four hours after the dinghy started its journey.

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‘Harrowing’ scenes during Channel Rescue

MI5, GCHQ and the Border Force’s Secret Channel Threat Command are involved in operations to prevent crossings, using drones, spy planes and tracking Albanian mobile phones used in northern France.

The lack of many Albanians on board may be why the ship avoided these efforts. Reports indicate that the passengers were mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, India and Senegal.

Mr. Sunak’s allies believe the tragedy proves his asylum system urgently needs reform.

However, there are fears within the government that the new trend of crossings continuing in the winter months may be indicative of the intractability of this policy problem.

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Why do migrants cross the channel?

Conservative MPs seem to agree that failure to tackle illegal immigration could end Mr Sunak’s hopes of winning the next general election.

According to opinion polls, around 70% of Conservative voters in 2019 support the policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. But 90% do not believe the government will succeed in starting flights to the East African nation.

In the spring, Mr. Sunak will introduce new laws to support his immigration reforms and cut down on “bogus” appeals.

And with the next general elections expected in late 2024, voters will have time to assess whether the PM’s plan has worked.

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