A “furious” Priti Patel last night backed the dispatch of Royal Navy patrols to the English Channel after a record number of migrants reached Britain.
Officials were ordered to draw up plans in which, for the first time, the Navy could reverse.
Yesterday, up to 250 migrants made the perilous crossing – the highest daily total since the crisis began, surpassing the previous record of 202 set Thursday last week.
The number of people who have reached Britain so far this year is now already double the total arrivals for all of 2019.
As many as 250 migrants crossed the Channel on Thursday – the highest daily total since the crisis began, surpassing the previous record of 202 set Thursday last week.
‘Furious’ Priti Patel backed Royal Navy patrols to the English Channel on Thursday evening after record number of migrants reached Britain
The number of people reaching Britain so far this year is now already double the total arrivals for all of 2019
Nearly 3,950 migrants made the crossing in small boats in the first 219 days of 2020 – up from 1,850 last year.
The crisis is a blow to the interior minister, who promised last October that the crossings would be practically eliminated now.
A Home Office source said: “The final straw was this record number, which led the Home Secretary to demand this new initiative. The real solution has to come from the French – we want the French to take them back.
Last night, sources said Navy ships could now begin returning migrant boats to France as part of a major tactical escalation.
Immigration still too high – survey
More than half of Britons believe immigration is still too high despite years of Conservative promises to reduce it, a study said yesterday.
He warned Boris Johnson that if his points-based immigration system allows for a wave of mass immigration, voters will turn against him.
Research by think tank Migration Watch UK says the latest poll found 54% believe immigration has been too high over the past decade.
Only 5 percent think it is too low. And more than six in ten said they believe the government has mismanaged immigration policies.
The analysis found that fears about the effects of large-scale immigration became a major concern after Tony Blair opened the doors to millions of people both inside and outside the country. ‘European Union.
Concerns abated after David Cameron came to power in 2010, vowing to bring immigration back to 1990’s levels and eased further after the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The report states: “Most continue to hold strong views on a perceived lack of effective immigration control.”
Ms Patel told MPs she had obtained legal advice that such a decision would be legal under international maritime law.
But the tactic would be highly controversial and could alienate the French government, which has told Britain it considers it illegal.
Other emergency measures being considered by the Home Office include the use of navy vessels to block the passage of migrant boats.
It is understood that smaller military devices would be used, rather than larger ships such as frigates or destroyers. The Royal Marines could play a key role, sources say.
British forces could also use nets to entangle propellers or floating “booms” to block the passage of canoes to migrants.
Both methods were tested in secret trials in May and June on Navy ships and Border Force boats.
A government source said: “These are all options that are being considered. The Minister of the Interior is furious with this daily total which, in our opinion, can reach 250.
“She asked her officials to talk to the Defense Ministry about how we can proceed. She also asked for a discussion with the French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin.
Officials from both departments have conducted initial interviews and the Home Secretary can follow up with a formal request for assistance from the Defense Ministry.
Yesterday’s arrivals included at least ten young children and a heavily pregnant woman, who were on board a boat that landed on Dungeness beach in Kent.
One of the children, a boy about four years old, looked exhausted as he lay down on the pebble beach with his arms outstretched. The heavily pregnant woman wore a black dress and a face mask as she held a child’s hand.
She looked tired and had her head in her hand at one point, after being picked up by a lifeboat.
Amateur photographer Susan Pilcher, who saw the group on the beach, said: “I could hear border officials asking the woman how many months she was pregnant, and she said ‘eight’.
Ms Pilcher added: “When you think she’s making such a risky Channel crossing while heavily pregnant, that says how far they’ve come. “
A British patrol boat also towed a kayak into the port of Dover yesterday.
A group of around 16 migrants, including 10 children and an eight-month-pregnant woman, landed on Dungeness beach in Kent today.
Nigel Farage used his Twitter feed to share an exclusive video of migrants arriving in the UK, including several children
The interior minister said she wanted “stricter enforcement” across the Channel and tried to persuade the French government to allow the pushback of migrant boats.
She said last year that a previous deal with the French would make crossings a “rare phenomenon” by this spring.
It comes as an investigation into the crisis was launched by the Commons multi-party home affairs committee.
MEPs will begin their investigation when Parliament returns in early September.
A spokesperson for the commission said: “The investigation will examine the role of criminal gangs in facilitating the growth of this form of illegal immigration and the response of UK and French authorities to tackle illegal migration and support them. legal routes to asylum. “