Border Force wants migrant boats returned and brought back to France after increased number of crossings | UK News


The government has said it wants to see migrant boats intercepted at sea and directly returned to France in a bid to curb the recent increase in Channel crossings.

House secretary Priti Patel has appointed a “Channel Clandestine Threat Commander” who will work to make the route “unsustainable for small boat crossings”.

Dan O’Mahoney, a former border and navy officer deployed to Kosovo and Iraq, will work with the French to explore what tougher measures can be taken, including “the adoption of interceptions at sea and the direct return of ships. “.

The Border Force intercepts migrants in the English Channel

Britain wants Paris to stop more small ships heading for England and bring them back to French ports, rather than guiding them until they reach British waters.

France wants £ 30million to cover the costs, but the UK has not decided to accept the request, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

A government source told Sky News on Saturday that a “passive blockade” in the English Channel was being considered, with the Defense Ministry being asked by the Home Office when the Navy could be brought in.

Immigration Minister Chris Philp will meet with his French counterparts next week as he seeks to completely close the Calais-Britain route.

It comes after recent calm conditions prompted a huge increase in the number of people trying to make the trip.

Kent The county council said 400 migrant children have been taken into care this year, including 60 in the first week of August and 23 on Friday alone.

Ministers are believed to be considering surveillance, reconnaissance and command checks as potential ways to reduce crossings.

A group of migrants are seen sitting against a Border Force van waiting to be processed in Kent

But Helen Baron, a lawyer who represents a number of migrants arriving in the UK by boat, says the tactics are illegal and could risk lives.

“It is completely illegal under international law and it is deeply worrying that these kinds of statements come out of the government, they must know that it is completely against the law,” she said.

Former Labor Home Secretary Diane Abbott commented: “The danger is that if you try to block these boats, which are mostly rubber dinghies and mostly run by people who are not experienced sailors, then the boats tip over and people die. ”

But Ms Patel said: “The number of illegal small boat crossings is appalling.

“We are working to make this route unsustainable and stop the criminals facilitating these crossings and ensuring they are brought to justice.” “

A pregnant woman walks near the coast of Dungeness after arriving in the UK.  Photo: Susan Pilcher
A pregnant woman walks near the Dungeness coast after arriving in the UK this week. Photo: Susan Pilcher

On Saturday morning in Kingsdown in Kent, a boat carrying 14 people – including two pregnant women and a child – arrived ashore, a witness told Sky News.

She said: “A pregnant woman had to be helped by the ambulance service to get to the hospital as she was clearly about to give birth.

“It was a crazy show… I’ve never seen anything like it in my time. It was literally just random and just appeared on the shore… The whole border patrol and coast guard were going down at the same time because they caught them all at the same time when they entered. ”

Witness says he saw migrants arriving in dinghies on Kent beach

The landing of the migrants on the beach was “a crazy spectacle”

Another dinghy with 12 people on board was then filmed being intercepted by a border force patrol boat.

A ship carrying 19 people and a migrant in a wheelchair were also among those seen disembarking in Dover over the weekend.


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