UK concerned about increase in number of small boats crossing France, immigration official says


(Reuters) – UK is concerned about an ‘unacceptable’ increase in the number of small boats crossing the Channel from France and would act to return ‘illegal’ migrants, said Immigration Compliance Minister Chris Philp in an opinion piece for The Telegraph journal.Philp said he would travel to Paris next week to discuss the matter. The UK would urge France to prevent migrants from boarding boats and would also “need to intercept” those leaving France and “send back those who arrive on our shores,” Philp wrote.

A growing number of migrants trying to cross the Channel from France led ministers to demand tougher actions from the French government.

“The French must ensure that migrants caught trying to reach the UK by boat can no longer do so,” Philp wrote.

Separately, The Times newspaper reported that British ministers were considering blocking migrant boats in the Channel before they could enter British waters, modeled on the tactics used by Australia against migrants. which could involve the Royal Navy and the Border Force intercepting ships as they leave French waters. .

Nearly 4,000 people have crossed the Channel this year aboard more than 300 small boats, according to a BBC report.

Most of the migrants include families from countries like Yemen, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq, among others, who flee their homes in search of better jobs and better living conditions.

Another member of the Conservative government cabinet, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, said on Friday that people were “right to be frustrated” about migrant crossings and that the government was determined to reduce them.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Edited by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool

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