Natalie Roberts, Executive Director at MSF UK said:
"We are distressed to hear reports of a shipwreck in the Channel, where it has been confirmed that at least four people have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with the victims of this disaster, and the emergency services that are working to rescue the survivors.
"The Government needs to now take urgent measures to ensure tragedies like this do not happen again.
"This means recognising that a cruel and punitive approach, such as that outlined by the Prime Minister yesterday, will not stop Channel crossings and will simply cause more suffering. As the Home Office’s own research shows, an approach built on deterrence only pushes desperate people into yet more dangerous routes. Men, women and children seeking safety will be forced into make even riskier journeys to get here, causing harm to their health and well-being, and inevitably resulting in more deaths.
"The horrific incident that occurred in the Channel today was a consequence of a lack of safe routes. The Prime Minister’s proposals would effectively end the right for people fleeing war, persecution and violence to seek asylum in the UK, breaking with the Refugee Convention and shirking our international legal and moral obligations."