The National:

MY colleagues and I are devastated by the latest deaths in the Channel. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who died as well as with our own friends, colleagues and the people we work with here in Scotland who have faced life and death journeys themselves to reach safety or lost loved ones in similar tragedies.

These awful events opened up old wounds for myself and many friends in our communities and brought back some of the horrors of seeking asylum in the UK.

The international refugee system has failed these people, and their loved ones, horrendously. The UK and international governments must urgently make safe routes to protection a reality. Nobody should be forced to risk their lives in order to seek safety.

The sad reality is that people are desperate to escape violent conflicts across the globe. People are desperate to save their children’s lives. People will always try to reach a place of safety. Conflicts and wars are not going to come to an end overnight and forced migration will not disappear. It is time for the UK Government to face that reality.

READ MORE: David Pratt: UK has to fulfil its Afghan promise before it’s too late

They must, as a bare minimum, take immediate action to prevent future loss of lives. This must be a turning point for the UK.

If they are serious about ending the need for people to make these periolous crossings, they will commit to a global resettlement programme which brings 10,000-20,000 people to safety from conflicts around the world each year.

But the UK’s promised Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is yet to even begin in a meaningful way. This government must recognise this as the emergency it is and act immediately.

The National: Migrant Channel crossing incidents

The UK Government must also ease the strict rules around family reunion to allow more families to rebuild their lives in safety together.

We also call on Boris Johnson to commit to developing a robust humanitarian visa scheme to allow people to travel in safety via mainstream routes instead of facing dangerous journeys.

But the reality is that only a very small number of people who need to reach safety will be able to do so through organised routes. The majority of people are forced to reach safety via whichever route they possibly can. People continue to be forced to take perilous journeys.

READ MORE: 'Don't communicate via tweets': French president pans Boris Johnson over Channel crossings

The UK must continue to be a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution and human rights violations around the world. We must always have an asylum system which treats people with safety and dignity and considers each case on its own merits.

The UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, the anti-refugee bill, will make it a crime to reach the UK without "prior permission". This is an existential threat to the concept of claiming asylum and is the biggest threat to refugee rights we’ve seen in this country for decades.

This government cannot offer its condolences for these lost lives while pushing through this cruel bill.

If Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are serious about preventing future loss of life, they will scrap this inhumane bill and work to create a fair and effective asylum system of which we can all be proud.