SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said that heartless policies from the UK Government are forcing people seeking asylum to take unnecessary risks.
She was speaking after 27 people, some of them children, drowned when trying to cross the channel from Calais.
The South Belfast MP said:
“I was heartbroken to hear that 27 people, including children, have drowned while attempting to seek asylum in the UK. This is a completely senseless and unnecessary loss of life and one which should force the UK Government to rethink its inhumane policies towards those seeking asylum.
“With the UK Government intent on closing safe and legal routes for asylum, desperate people fleeing war, famine and other unimaginable circumstances are left with little choice but to approach criminal gangs for help in getting themselves and their loved ones to safety.
“The UK Government and Home Secretary Priti Patel have done everything in their power to discourage asylum seekers and refugees from entering the UK and made it as difficult as possible for them to do so, with the even worse nationality and borders bill on the way. These deaths are a policy and compassion failure and the government should be ashamed.”