A Kurdish woman from northern Iraq, who was among 27 people who died trying to cross the Channel between France and Britain this week, has become the first victim to be named by British media.

The migrants died when their dinghy deflated as they made a perilous crossing of the English Channel on Wednesday, the worst tragedy on record in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, 24, made the journey in order to see her fiance, the BBC reported, citing family members and aclose friend.

"When she left Kurdistan she was very happy, she couldn't believe that she was going to meet (him)," the woman's friend Imann Hassan was quoted as saying by the British broadcaster, which said her fiance already lived in Britain.

"She tried to live a better life, she chose the UK, but she died," they added.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the information.

The woman's husband told The Daily Telegraph that he was following the movements of his wife during her boat journey when her GPS signal suddenly cut off.


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"I am in a very bad state," he said.

The paper reported that the man is a Kurdish immigrant living in the UK who did not wish to be named, but was known as Baran and was from Ranya in northern Iraq.

The tragedy has further strained ties between France and Britain, with French President Emmanuel Macron telling Britain yesterday it needed to "get serious" or remain locked out of discussions over how to curb the flow of migrants across the Channel.

The French government withdrew an invitation to British Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend a meeting of ministers from key European allies in Calais tomorrow.

France was angered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson releasing a letter he sent to French President Emmanuel Macron setting out his proposals, including reiterating a call for joint UK-French patrols by border officials along French beaches to stop boats leaving, which Paris has long resisted.

Mr Johnson also called for talks to begin on a bilateral returns agreement, saying it could have "an immediate and significant impact" on attempts to cross the Channel after the UK left a European Union returns agreement with Brexit.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal rejected the proposal as "clearly not what we need to solve this problem" as he said Mr Johnson's letter "doesn't correspond at all" with discussions Mr Johnson and Mr Macron had when they spoke on Wednesday.

"We are sick of double-speak," he added, and said Mr Johnson's decision to post his letter on his Twitter feed suggested he was "not serious".

Additional reporting: Press Association