UK and France ‘action plan’ to deal with migrants crossing Channel

A Border Force patrol boat at the Port of Dover

A Border Force patrol boat at the Port of Dover

Six Iranian men have been found on a beach in southeastern England, according to British officials, as the number of migrants making crossings of the English Channel in small boats from France continues to rise.

The Home Secretary has cut short his family holiday to return to the United Kingdom after declaring a "major incident" as Border Force vessels picked up a group of migrants attempting to enter the country by boat.

Mr Javid said yesterday: 'The situation in the Channel is of grave concern, with people gambling their lives in reckless attempts to reach the United Kingdom in unsafe boats and treacherous conditions'.

There has been a recent spike in attempts to from the Channel from France.

Mr Javid has come under growing pressure to act, with Labour accusing him of being "slow to respond" and Conservative MP Rehman Chishti telling him to "get a grip".

More than 80 migrants have been processed in Dover, while more than 220 people have attempted the crossing on inflatable boats since November.

Mr Javid said it was "vital" to strike a balance between protecting migrants and protecting Britain's borders and to avoid encouraging more people to put to sea. Increased security on trucks has made it more hard for migrants to access Britain that way.




Almost 70 people have been intercepted in the past three days as they try to reach England by crossing one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

In Mr Javid's absence, immigration minister Caroline Nokes visited a centre handling the asylum-seeking migrants in Dover on Saturday.

But he resisted calls to deploy more cutters to the Channel, saying he was keeping the number of vessels available to the Border Force "under close review", but stressing that there was "no one easy answer".

"The Home Office's flawed strategy has been to focus on deterring refugees, thinking that the issues in the Mediterranean would never reach our shores".

The Home Secretary's decision comes amid heavy criticism over the Government's response to the crisis, despite himself declaring it a "major incident" on Friday.

Chris Hogben, the head of the National Crime Agency-led Project Invigor, warned more crossings were "likely" in the coming weeks.

15 December - Four children are among a group of 11 people rescued off Dover.

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