France, Britain agree plan on migrant Channel crossings

Larry Hoffman
December 31, 2018

The six were found at Kingsdown Beach, near Deal, earlier today after travelling in an inflatable boat and have been handed over to immigration authorities.

Lucy Moreton, a spokesman for the Immigration Services Union, said it was "very hard to know" how much the French authorities were doing.

This comes just days after a fishing boat which was successfully stolen and put to sea with 16 migrants on board was intercepted by the French authorities, and taken back to the port of Bolougne.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes speaks with Border Force officers and the HM Coastguard in Dover, to discuss migrants' attempts to reach Britain by small boat.

The Member of Parliament for Dover on England's southeast coast, Charlie Elphicke, has called for more government funding to deal with the arrivals and the Home Office said Javid has asked border officials to look at options for bringing in extra patrol ships.

Conservative MPs criticised Mr Javid for not deploying another cutter, the high-speed patrol boats used by the Border Force, in the Channel.

"Where people's lives are at risk, people are rescued where necessary, " she said.

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Writing in the Daily Telegraph, ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage said Mr Javid could become the next prime minister if he followed the lead of former Australian PM Tony Abbott to "make it crystal clear that any individual who crosses the Channel by dinghy and illegally enters British waters will not be allowed to stay in our country".

On Saturday Mr Javid said he was keeping the number of Border Force vessels in the Channel "under close review", but admitted there was "no one easy answer".

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said the UK's armed forces "stand ready" if needed to prevent further crossings.

He added that he anticipated further arrests in the coming weeks and thought more attempts to reach the United Kingdom were likely.

"I like this one, it looks safe", said a young Iraqi man at a camp in Calais who gave his name as Ali and was browsing the site.

The charity said: "How can we claim to uphold our proudest tradition of offering sanctuary to those fleeing persecution if we require people to make death-defying journeys to claim that right and then imprison them indefinitely in detention centres when they arrive?"

"Instead of laying the blame exclusively at the hands of criminal gangs, Sajid Javid must step up and provide safe passage for those in distress if he wants to avoid further human tragedy", the charity said in a statement.

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