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Abbott calls for ‘safe routes’ for ‘refugees’ following Essex deaths


Diane Abbott has slammed The Government and called for a “safe and legal routes” for refugees to enter the UK after 39 people were found dead in a lorry in Essex.

The controversial Labour front bencher said:

“Any death under these circumstances is truly appalling. The fact there have been 39 reported deaths in this incident is a terrible tragedy. One of the worst of its kind.

These 39 poor unfortunate people are the victims in this. They are preyed upon by the greedy, unscrupulous and people who simply have a willful disregard for the lives of others.

But we should take account of the wider context. Nobody leaves their homes on a journey like this, with so much risk and fear, on a whim. They often do it because they are actually desperate.”

She called for an assurance that “vital” co-operation on preventing people trafficking with the EU27 will not become “imperiled” when the UK leaves the EU.

She said there should be “safe and legal routes” for “genuine” refugees to get to the UK. The unidentified victims, including a teenager, were found dead inside the container – thought by experts to be a refrigerated unit – at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex, early on Wednesday.

The lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead in North Wales, one of the main ports for ferries from Ireland.

Police have not confirmed if the dead were trafficked into the UK or had intended to claim refuge here, but their death has highlighted the ongoing issue of desperate people dying trying to reach safety in the UK