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Former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett warned that creating safe routes for migrants to come to Britain could bring the former UKIP leader to Downing Street. He said that while Britain receives far fewer asylum seekers than France and Germany, people often believe that there is a “flood” on the way in.

In a speech to the BBC, which suggested that the introduction of safe routes would not result in a “large” increase in asylum applications, Lord Blunkett said: “Well, the numbers may not be, but Nigel Farage may end up becoming prime minister, and it could even be worse than what we have at the moment. “

He added: “Politics is toxic when it comes to migration … we have something towards a third fewer asylum seekers than the French and far lower numbers than the Germans.

“But that does not stop people from actually believing that there is a flood on the way, and so what we need to do is work with our counterparts in Europe.”

This happens when at least 27 people died while trying to cross the canal.

Nigel Farage has been tipped to become the next prime minister (Image: Getty)

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was issued the warning by Lord Blunkett (Image: Getty)

Amnesty International has said that “the government’s inability to open safe and legal routes is a critical factor in tragic deaths in the Channel.”

The organization’s UK Refugee and Migrant Rights Director, Steve Valdez-Symonds, called on the government to “quickly take decisive steps to prevent further loss of life.”

He added: “The UK must make it a priority to share the responsibility with other countries to receive people into their asylum system – they must do this by offering safe and legal routes and encouraging others to do the same.

“We must remember that dangerous travel takes place because the government does not provide a safe alternative for people to exercise their right to seek asylum here.

READ MORE: We pay tribute to the British! French people thank UK for migrant rescue efforts

Lord Blunkett

Lord Blunkett warned that creating safe routes for migrants could place Farage in Downing Street (Image: Getty)

Priti Patel

Priti Patel has called on France to allow border forces, police and troops to patrol beaches (Image: Getty)

“If the government is really concerned about tackling these gangs and their abuse of people, they must establish safe asylum routes so that people no longer have to depend on smugglers.

The Labor Party promised earlier in their election manifesto to “establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers” to get to Britain.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the Shadow interior minister, recently spoke of the need to provide “properly managed safe and legal routes”.

However, Priti Patel has called on France to allow border forces, police and even troops to patrol its beaches to help intercept migrants and prevent dangerous crossings, adding that Britain has a “generous, humane approach” to refugees.

She reiterated the request in a phone call with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, also asking for a return agreement that would allow Channel migrants to be sent back to France from Britain.

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Afghan refugees by host country

Afghan refugees by host country (Image: Express)

She said: “We are not just working to end these crossings because we do not care and we are heartless.

“Britain has a clear and generous, humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees.

“Yes, people should come here legally and the system should be fair, but the main problem is this: crossing the Channel in small boats is extremely dangerous and [Wednesday] was the moment that many of us had dreaded for many years.

The criminals who facilitate these journeys are motivated by self-interest and profit, not by compassion.

“They threaten, intimidate, bully and assault the people who get into these boats, and they have a complete disregard for human life.”

Migrants cross the canal

This happens when at least 27 people died while trying to cross the canal. (Image: Getty)

According to Mrs Patel, the police officers would be “unfounded” with no powers of arrest to avoid conflicts over sovereignty and could be under French command.

She also promised an extra pack of ANPR cameras to catch smugglers, drones and surveillance equipment.

However, the reaction in France was mixed.

Calais Republican MP Pierre-Henri Dumont called the proposal an “insane solution” that “will not change anything” because it would require thousands of officers to monitor it.

He added: “There is also the issue of sovereignty.

“I’m not sure the British people would accept the other way around if the French army patrolled the British coast.”

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