Former Labour MP says France must ‘take great responsibility’ for channel tragedy

Former Labour MP and Baroness Kate Hoey has said that France must “take responsibility” yesterday’s tragedy

The independent peer told Sky News Breakfast programme earlier today: “It’s rather regrettable that the first thing we wake up to is another blame game.

“I’m very disappointed that the French interior minister has said that in the way he has.”

Lady Hoey, who will leading a House of Lords debate on migrants today, said in light of the PM’s talks with French President Macron: “I would have hoped there’d be an opportunity now for the two countries to work together. This cannot be solved by us alone.”

She argued that without French police “really trying to prevent” people entering boats, the UK is “not in a situation” to negotiate how things can be improved, adding that the current asylum system “still isn’t fit for purpose.”

She said she hoped that yesterday’s “dreadful, dreadful tragedy” would provoke a “united effort now” between countries to agree “that this can’t go on”.

She said the channel crossing crisis “really should be top of the priority list at Downing Street”, but that “France has to take great responsibility”

She described it as “absolutely amazing” that the UK has not stopped “this in a way that is sensitive to the needs of some of these very, very poor people” who are attempting the crossing because they’re fleeing some “very difficult situations”.