A CHILD is among five people who have died while trying to cross the Channel, the French coastguard has confirmed.

The group of five included three men, a woman and a child, who were victims of what the coastguard described as a “crowd movement” which occurred in the “overloaded” boat of more than 110 people.

The incident occurred at 5am on Tuesday. French media say the child was a four-year-old girl.

It comes as the UK Parliament passed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's flagship Rwanda bill late on Monday evening, after months of wrangling with the Lords who sent it back to the Commons five times demanding changes.

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The unelected chamber ended the deadlock after MPs rejected a requirement that Rwanda could not be treated as safe until the secretary of state, having consulted an independent monitoring body, made a statement to Parliament to that effect.

The bill designates Rwanda a safe country and is a key part of the Government's plans to send some asylum seekers there.

Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s home affairs spokesperson, has described the deaths as “utterly tragic,” stressing that they could be avoided if safe and legal routes into the UK were available to asylum seekers.

She said: “The SNP's thoughts are with all who have lost loved ones, so close to safety. 

“It remains the case that if the very real risk of losing your life in the Channel is no deterrent, it is unlikely that the slim chance of being removed to Rwanda will dissuade people making this dangerous crossing. 

“The UK Government has failed to listen to the reasons why people take these risks, and have closed their minds to alternatives which would prevent dangerous journeys across continents. 

“If safe and legal routes such as family reunification and humanitarian visas were functioning and available to people, no one would need to set foot on a leaky rubber dinghy.”

Sunak has said the first flights under the Rwanda scheme are scheduled in 10 to 12 weeks but this could still be held up by challenges in the courts.

Humza Yousaf has said the bill is yet another example of how “Westminster does not share Scotland’s values”.

In a video posted to social media, Home Secretary James Cleverly said the bill “will become law within days”.