The migrant crisis has been escalating over the last few weeks, and I have felt a greater sense of fear. 

Every overloaded boat, every child with wide eyes disembarking at a British beach is surrounded by the fear of tragedy.

Now, this is a grim fact. They have paid the price for their indignity.

At least one girl and five women drowned, a group of 31 in all – possibly more.

The exact details are not yet known and may never be given due to the chaotic nature trafficker boat operations. It is tragic that there are so many people involved in this situation, and no one seems to be able solve it.

Some may say that this is an accident in waiting. It isn’t an accident.

It is not because of any unforeseen tragedy or some twist of fate; this tragedy was caused by spectacular incompetence from politicians on both sides. It is truly shameful.

Most people will agree that it is the people smugglers and others who run this trafficking of human cargo.

This will be the political slogan of the coming days, as all parties seek to discredit this disaster.

SARAH VINE: The human cost of this situation seems to matter far less to the French president than his own reputation within European political circles as the scourge of Boris Johnson (Pictured: President Emmanuel Macron)

SARAH VINE – The human costs of this situation seem to be far less important to the French president that his reputation in European politics as the scourge Boris Johnson. (Pictured by President Emmanuel Macron).

SARAH VINE: There is really only one viable option here. Politicians on both sides are going to have to set aside their egos and for once do what's right – not what suits them or their poll ratings (Pictured: British PM Boris Johnson)

SARAH VIEN: The only option is here. Politicians on both sides are going to have to set aside their egos and for once do what’s right – not what suits them or their poll ratings (Pictured: British PM Boris Johnson)

But there are still desperate people who will do whatever it takes to survive, and these migrants would be willing to take their lives in order to reach this country. 

This, in and of itself, speaks volumes about what the family has endured.

Criminals can operate in impunity, if they are allowed to. This is what has been occurring for weeks and months. Both the gangs as well as the migrants have realized that both sides have failed to realize that those responsible for solving this crisis were too distracted by arguing and posturing to actually do anything to end them.

The numbers of crossings have been steady increasing, rather than tailing off as normal when winter hits. 

More than 25,000 have arrived this year so far – three times the number in 2020. This is a no-holds-barred environment. It’s impossible to discourage them or stop them from trying.

Police officers patrol the beaches of northern France, snatching cigarettes, and shrugging as overloaded dinghies sail by, seeming to be indifferent to the suffering of the passengers or not.

It is all despite the fact that tens and millions of pounds of British taxpayers money were diverted into French coffers in order to assist with patrolling the coast.

Is it possible to ask the question “Where is that money?” For the Elysee Palace, new curtains Brussels: A boon for Mr Macron’s buddies? 

And it hasn’t gone the way it was supposed to.

But one thing is clear. 

It seems that the human cost of the situation is less significant to the French president then his personal reputation as Boris Johnson’s villain in European political circles.

It wouldn’t require a lot of effort from France to reverse this trend of human misery. 

After all, they are the ones on the ground, they have the local knowledge – and we are happy to pay for the manpower, as we’ve already demonstrated.

Macron isn’t going to because he doesn’t see this as a way to beat post Brexit Britain. To punish the Government for not stemming the flow of immigrants despite the fact that they have tried hard to take back control of them, Macron’s position is the best.

SARAH VINE: This tragedy has come to pass not because of some unforeseen misfortune, some mysterious twist of fate, but as a direct result of spectacular incompetence on the part of politicians on both sides of the Channel. And it is utterly shameful (file photo of migrants in dinghy)

SARAH VINE (Sarah Vine): The tragedy happened not due to some unforeseen misfortune or some mysterious twist in fate but because of extraordinary incompetence by politicians from both sides. This is truly shameful. (file photo: migrants in dinghy). 

Macron sees Brexit as a failure. This objective makes it seem like he is blind to the human catastrophe that is unfolding right on his doorstep.

Priti Patel is the Home Secretary, and despite all of her promises and bluster, she has no control over her actions. 

Despite tough rhetoric and the training of border patrol officers on jet-skis to intercept boats, the realities of turning migrants back to France are far more complex than it would seem on the surface – not least from a legal and human rights standpoint.

If a Border Force vessel was to be involved in sinking a boat carrying migrants, or even death, then they might be criminally responsible. 

I wonder how many government officials will be willing to risk that? And, frankly speaking, there’s no reason they should. What politician would be able to endure the sight of exhausted boatloads being sent back into the frigid ocean, putting their lives at risk?

Only one option is available. Politicians on both sides are going to have to set aside their egos and for once do what’s right – not what suits them or their poll ratings.

It is essential to reach an agreement. The sea must reach an agreement before it claims more human beings.