Friday, 16 Apr 2021

Migrants intercepted while attempting to cross Channel – 36 detained

Brexit: Priti Patel dismisses claims on security issues

A total of 36 people have been detained in the UK while a further 27 were stopped by French authorities. A spokesperson for the Home Office said they were stopped during two incidents today.

Minister for immigration compliance and the courts, Chris Philp said: “These are illegally facilitated crossings and migrants should be claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach.

“The Government continues to undertake substantial steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration, including legislative changes so crossings of this natures are treated as inadmissible where migrants have travelled through a safe EU country.

“The Government will continue to seek to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK.”

Mr Philp said the joint intelligence with the French has prevented a total of 134 migrants entering the country this week alone.

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He continued: “These efforts have contributed to a 70 percent reduction in crossings since September on fair-weather days by direct intervention on the French beaches.”

These latest crossings come after a staggering 8,417 made the journey last year.

Last month, Britain signed an historic trade deal with the European Union and Home Secretary Priti Patel launched the new visa system.

She said: “This Government promised to end free movement, to take back control of our borders and to introduce a new points-based immigration system.

“Today, we have delivered on that promise.

“This simple, effective and flexible system will ensure employers can recruit the skilled workers they need, whilst also encouraging employers to train and invest in the UK’s workforce.

“We are also opening routes for those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture.”

Back in August, Ms Patel called on the Royal Navy to help reduce the number of migrant boats crossing the English Channel.

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Ms Patel said she wanted to make thee crossing “unviable” and suggested plans would stop boats from entering UK waters.

This came after she appointed former Royal Marine and director of the Joint Maritime Security Centre Dan O’Mahoney to lead the crackdown.

She said at the time: “The number of illegal small boat crossings is appalling.

“We are working to make this route inviable and arresting criminal facilitating crossings.

“Dan’s appointment is vital to cutting this route by bringing together all operational partners in the UK and in France.”

Ms Patel’s plans were attacked by former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw who said the approach risked capsizing migrant vessels.

He said: “It will only take one of these dinghies to capsize and everybody to drown, which is perfectly feasibly, for there to be a hullabaloo including in the Conservative party and for the policy to have to be reversed so I wouldn’t go down that route.

“The only way to solve this is for us to say to the French, ‘Yes, these people are fleeing France and to that extent they will cease to be your problem but it is a major problem for you because you’ve got organised criminality which is extending into drugs, into people trafficking and much else besides’.”

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