UK calls on France to crack down on migrant crossings to make route ‘unsustainable’ | UK News

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The UK calls on France to crack down on migrants crossing the Channel, as the government plans to make the route “unsustainable”.

Sky News filmed on Saturday morning as another dinghy was intercepted by a border forces patrol boat, already with a record number of migrants arriving in the UK on small boats in recent days.

The recent calmer weather in the Channel region has caused an increase in the number of people making the trip. It is understood that there were 12 people aboard the dinghy seen on Saturday.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb told Sky News the government now wants to make the road “unsustainable”.

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Sky News watched another boat being intercepted by UK authorities in the English Channel on Saturday

“What we’re trying to do is make this road unsustainable,” Gibb said.

“We are talking to French ministers to prevent people from leaving France first and then by finding other ways to make sure that we send the ships back to France when they try to make a very dangerous crossing.

“France is a safe country, and if people are asking for asylum, they should seek asylum in France first.”

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

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

He also wants migrants caught crossing the Channel to receive their fingerprints and suffer “real consequences”.



Migrants on a dinghy in the English Channel

May 2020: Migrants rescued from a rubber dinghy in the English Channel

Mr Gibb’s comments came after Kent County Council (KCC) said 400 migrant children had been taken into care this year, including 60 in the first week of August, 23 of whom arrived just Friday.

KCC leader Roger Gough discussed the issue on the BBC’s Newsnight program, saying “enormous pressure” was being placed on authority amid growing numbers of unaccompanied young migrants arriving at the United Kingdom.

“So far, some 400 of these young people have been entrusted to us this year and in recent weeks and months it has been particularly rapid,” he said.

Mr Philp said some of the measures he would like to see introduced include the deportation or detention of migrants for breaking the law.

The Home Office said it was possible the Royal Navy could be brought in to patrol the Channel’s migrant smuggling move – a move described as “completely boring” by a Defense Ministry source.

The proposals reflect growing frustration within the government after nearly two years of increasing numbers of migrants arriving by sea from France.

MP Nick Gibb told Sky News the government wanted the route to become 'unsustainable'
Image:
MP Nick Gibb told Sky News the government wanted the route to become ‘unsustainable’

Mr. Gibb added, “This is not a simple situation, nor a simple solution. There are legal barriers and complexities in dealing with this issue, which is why Home Secretary Priti Patel has spoken with her French counterparts, and why Chris Philp will do the same next week.

“These are not simple problems. They are complicated. We are working to resolve them. But we are determined to solve what is a complex problem. We don’t want people to cross the Channel, even in the weather we have right now.

“We are outside of Europe, but we have friendly relations with our partners in Europe, with France, etc. And these negotiations are taking place between ministers at the moment. And we want to try to resolve this issue.

“I don’t think we are in the European Union or not, it will change anything about this problem… We are determined to stop this illegal route to Britain, for humanitarian reasons as much as anything else.

“We are talking to our French counterparts… in order to find a solution by using maritime means, as they call it, to try to bring boats back to France. “

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