THE HOME Secretary has vowed to do whatever necessary to prevent people risking their lives to cross the Channel and get to the UK.

In an address to MPs, Priti Patel said there was "no quick fix" to the problem, which saw at least 27 people lose their lives yesterday when trying to travel from France to Britain. 

Ms Patel, who has come under increasing pressure to address the growing number of people attempting the treacherous crossing, said: " I've offered to work with France with more officers on the ground and do absolutely whatever is necessary to secure the area so that vulnerable people do not risk their lives by getting into unseaworthy boats."

She said the issue was a "global" crisis, and stated that Channel crossings were "absolutely unnecessary", encouraging people to claim asylum in other countries, such as France.

Ms Patel continued: " People should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach; nobody needs to flee France in order to be safe.

"Yesterday was a moment that many of us have feared for many years.

"The criminals that 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 absolute disregard for human rights." 

The Home Secretary also urged MPs to back the Conservatives' Nationality and Borders Bill, which aims to curb immigration to the UK.

Processing asylum seekers in third countries, and taking in to account how they reach the UK, are among the controversial plans contained within the bill. 

Ms Patel added: "It does mean a Herculean effort and it will be impossible without close co-operation between all international partners and agencies.

"I would also urge colleagues to reconsider their opposition to the Nationality and Borders bill because it is an essential element in finding a long term solution to what's is a long-term problem that successive governments have faced in decades." 

Ms Patel also re-stated her controversial attacks against Scottish councils, in response to a question from the SNP MP Martyn Day. 

He urged the Home Secretary to commit to not using "pushback" methods for boats crossing the Channel, after the Prime Minister said yesterday that "everything was on the table".

The MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk asked if Ms Patel would "commit to ending all discussion of the UK using dangerous and life threatening pushback tactics in the channel?"

He added: "This government's refugee family reunion rules are among the most restrictive in Europe, the scheme was closed and Brexit means that the so-called Dublin family reunion applications are no longer possible. resettlement schemes are in limbo, The Borders bill will restrict family reunion rates [and] more people will feel compelled to these dangerous journeys to join loved ones."

Ms Patel said she was "disappointed" with his comments, adding that she thought he did not understand the complexity of the issue.

She added: "I think it's such a shame actually, that once again, the SNP, the party that has failed to support asylum seekers in their own local authorities... 31 out of 32 local authorities do not participate in the dispersal scheme. So there was an inconsistency here if I may say so." 

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said “yesterday’s human tragedy in the Channel was the most awful of reminders of the dangers of crossing the Channel”.

He asked the Home Secretary about the existing surveillance capacity and what she will be doing to “increase that surveillance”.

On “properly managed safe and legal routes”, he added: “Can I ask specifically about the Dubs Scheme. The Dubs Scheme was closed down having helped only 480 unaccompanied children rather than the 3,000 that it expected to help. Will that scheme be urgently reinstated?”

Mr Thomas-Symonds went on: “Then there is the UK Resettlement Scheme that was announced in February of this year, and today the Government has released the statistics on this.

“It shows that in its first year only 770 people have been helped by that scheme, and taken with other schemes, it is only 1,171 people who have been helped to the end of September, when the promise from the Home Office was to help 5,000 people in its first year.

“What will be done to make good on that promise?”

Priti Patel said it was a “complete myth and fallacy” to suggest the UK should not look at all options to deal with the migrant crisis, including stopping boats entering territorial waters.