UPDATE 6pm – French media are reporting the tragic news that the person who was airlifted off the boat has now died. Our hearts go out to their family and friends. We are deeply shocked and distressed.
This appalling death will be seen as a tragic accident but the truth is that it was both predictable and avoidable.
4pm – Today a rescue operation has taken place in the Channel after a boat with 40 people on board began to sink. We have been told that one person was taken to hospital in a helicopter and others had to be helped out of the water.
The rescue operation involved Belgian and French air and sea vessels.
This type of fear and danger is something no-one deserves to face. People are making these crossings because they are desperate, and because there is no system that allows them to claim asylum in the UK safely.
Today’s events are a reminder that peoole have already died making the crossing and further fatalities are inevitable; our Government must face up to this and create a modern system to allow people to claim asylum safely.
No one should feel like their only option is to cross the busiest shipping lane in the world in a small boat. The fact that they do should make any modern, civilised people determined to fix the problem.
This is why we need new routes to safety immediately.