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English Channel migrant deaths a disgrace to Europe

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The degree of despair that would drive you to clamber into an unseaworthy rubber dinghy in northern France on a cold November evening to set off for the English coast is barely imaginable. Particularly when you think about mothers having to persuade their children that this journey was not dangerous and they would soon arrive safe and sound.

When such a crossing goes horribly wrong, as it did on Wednesday, the politicians concerned shed crocodile tears. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron declared how appalled and deeply saddened they were by what had happened and promised to somehow stop the deadly crossings.

One day after the tragedy the British mass circulation newspaper Metro asked "Why didn't France stop them?" London has been pointing its finger at its neighbors and ignoring its own responsibility.

Upon leaving the European Union, the UK became responsible for its own borders, a responsibility more fraught than Brexit propaganda made out. The UK no longer has any right to expect assistance from France or Belgium, and it has also lost the right to return migrants arriving from those states.

In London, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel had proposed that Border Force guards should turn around small boats in the English Channel and send them back into French waters. To their credit, the Border Force refused to implement the hardliner's plans.........

© Deutsche Welle

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