Sadly, the political situation on both sides of the funnel can make headlines but leaves little room for impactful resolution.
“The bilateral tensions you see are more or less a consequence of Brexit,” French political commentator Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet told me. “And refugees are the main victims.”
However, now that the UK has left the EU, the regulation no longer applies. Both Johnson and Macron now want to look like they’ve been on top after Brexit, while avoiding being hit by a third rail problem of immigration back home.
Smash the smugglers
Even at the best of times, the French and British response seemed little more than an amateur cat-and-mouse game with traffickers.
Malarek said more resources need to be allocated to combat smuggling. “And when you catch the smugglers, you have to lower the hammer on them,” he told me, adding that the traffickers involved in Wednesday’s crossing were responsible for 27 migrants. dead.
On the plus side, the crisis has spawned new discussion about how to address the so-called factors that push people out of despair. More frequent and intense climate events and conflicts will only place more people in the dangerous web of smugglers.
“The reality is that desperate people do desperate things,” says Malarek.