Spread the love

A French warship escorted a group of 13 migrants crammed into a small boat into British waters before handing them over to a baffled news crew this morning, as hundreds are expected to cross today after more than 430 people landed in the UK yesterday in a single-day record. 

Good Morning Britain journalist Pip Tomson told ITV viewers that the dinghy, which is made for just six passengers, was escorted by a French warship to the border before it left, apparently thinking that the team of reporters would then escort the migrants back to the UK.

Ms Tomson said GMB alerted Border Force to the small boat, but agreed to ‘observe’ the migrants because UK officials were so busy handling other crossings this morning. Around 20 minutes later, a Border Force jet-ski was filmed escorting the dinghy to the English coastline.

Appearing on GMB this morning, Business Minister Paul Scully said the migrants were escaping war-torn countries and said ‘people should be claiming asylum in the first safe port’ they reach.

France struck a deal with the UK in November to tackle illegal Channel crossings but has so far resisted the idea of having dinghies sent back to its northern beaches. 

In March, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans to overhaul Britain’s immigration regime by giving border guards patrolling the Channel greater powers to turn back migrant boats. The crackdown will be dependent on France and other countries accepting the return of migrants. 

It is thought that hundreds of migrants will be making the treacherous journey by boat from Europe today after at least 430 migrants sailed across the Channel yesterday in a new single-day record. Monday’s figure passes the previous daily high of 416 set in September last year, official figures show. 

As the number of people crossing in small boats rises, the number coming over to Britain in lorries or train containers through the Channel Tunnel has declined following high-profile incidents in which migrants smuggled onto lorries and containers have died en route.  

Speaking to MailOnline today, furious union officials said that Border Force staff are ‘working excessive hours in unsuitable conditions’ as officials struggle to keep a handle on the numbers of migrants who are intercepted in the Channel and who need processing on land. 

Dr Ben Greening, Executive Director of Migration Watch UK, told MailOnline: ‘This was another daily record and we are going to see that surpassed time and time again going forward unless the Government gets serious. 

‘Illegal crossings so far this year are now nearly 11 times the number recorded by this point in 2019, just before the Home Secretary promised they would become ‘infrequent’. This is not good enough and the public are fed up to the teeth with this debacle.’ 

MailOnline has contacted the Home Office for further information. 

Yesterday a group of more than 40 people including women and young children were seen walking ashore after one beach landing in Kent, while another 50 migrants arrived elsewhere. Video filmed by shocked beachgoers shows migrants sprinting off in different directions after their vessel managed to arrive at Oldstairs Bay in Kingsdown without being intercepted by Border Force. 

It comes as:

  • Union officials said Border Force staff are ‘stretched’ and ‘working excessive hours in unsuitable conditions’; 
  • Ex-prime minister Theresa May sounded warnings over the prospect of the UK sending asylum seekers to Australia-style offshore processing centres;
  • Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said ‘unacceptable’ rise in small boat crossings was caused by ‘surge in illegal migration across Europe’;
  • Detention Action charity said the Government’s ‘anti-refugee Bill’ is ‘political theatre that doesn’t even pretend to deal with the issue or make our system, safe, fair or efficient’.
Migrants are seen crossing the English Channel this morning as the number of people making the journey to the UK surges

Migrants are seen crossing the English Channel this morning as the number of people making the journey to the UK surges

Migrants are seen crossing the English Channel this morning as the number of people making the journey to the UK surges

Good Morning Britain journalist Pip Tomson told ITV viewers that the dinghy, which is made for just six passengers, was escorted by a French warship to the border before it left, apparently thinking that the team of reporters would then escort the migrants back to the UK

Good Morning Britain journalist Pip Tomson told ITV viewers that the dinghy, which is made for just six passengers, was escorted by a French warship to the border before it left, apparently thinking that the team of reporters would then escort the migrants back to the UK

Good Morning Britain journalist Pip Tomson told ITV viewers that the dinghy, which is made for just six passengers, was escorted by a French warship to the border before it left, apparently thinking that the team of reporters would then escort the migrants back to the UK

Good Morning Britain filmed a group of migrants making the perilous Channel crossing to the UK this morning

Good Morning Britain filmed a group of migrants making the perilous Channel crossing to the UK this morning

Good Morning Britain filmed a group of migrants making the perilous Channel crossing to the UK this morning 

Ms Tomson said GMB alerted Border Force to the small boat, but agreed to 'observe' the migrants because UK officials were so busy handling other crossings this morning. Around 20 minutes later, a Border Force jet-ski was filmed escorting the dinghy to the English coastline

Ms Tomson said GMB alerted Border Force to the small boat, but agreed to 'observe' the migrants because UK officials were so busy handling other crossings this morning. Around 20 minutes later, a Border Force jet-ski was filmed escorting the dinghy to the English coastline

Ms Tomson said GMB alerted Border Force to the small boat, but agreed to ‘observe’ the migrants because UK officials were so busy handling other crossings this morning. Around 20 minutes later, a Border Force jet-ski was filmed escorting the dinghy to the English coastline

A migrant is escorted by Border Force officers as he is brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent after crossing the Channel

A migrant is escorted by Border Force officers as he is brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent after crossing the Channel

A migrant is escorted by Border Force officers as he is brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent after crossing the Channel

A migrant family is escorted by a Border Force officer as they are brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent

A migrant family is escorted by a Border Force officer as they are brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent

A migrant family is escorted by a Border Force officer as they are brought ashore at Dover Harbour in Kent

People though to be migrants are watched over by the RNLI as they make their way up the beach following arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People though to be migrants are watched over by the RNLI as they make their way up the beach following arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People though to be migrants are watched over by the RNLI as they make their way up the beach following arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A man gestures as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A man gestures as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A man gestures as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

Footage shows shocked beachgoers watching while the migrants sprint off in different directions after their vessel managed to arrive at Oldstairs Bay in Kingsdown without being intercepted by Border Force

Footage shows shocked beachgoers watching while the migrants sprint off in different directions after their vessel managed to arrive at Oldstairs Bay in Kingsdown without being intercepted by Border Force

Footage shows shocked beachgoers watching while the migrants sprint off in different directions after their vessel managed to arrive at Oldstairs Bay in Kingsdown without being intercepted by Border Force

MIGRANT CROSSINGS: FIVE TIMES A NEW DAILY RECORD WAS SET 

At least 430 migrants crossed to the UK on small boats on Monday – a new single-day record. 

PA, which tracks and analyses numbers of crossings, has compiled a list of five days in the last two years when a new record was set.

July 19, 2021: 430 people reach the UK

Dozens of people, including women and young children, were seen walking ashore after one beach landing on the Kent coast, while more arrived elsewhere.

Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline amid 75F sunshine.

The Home Office said that overall at least 430 people arrived in various places after travelling aboard 14 boats.

September 2, 2020: 416 people reach the UK

A wave of boats departed France with hundreds of migrants making their way across the sunny and calm English Channel.

In the House of Commons Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced questions over the Government’s handling of the issue of small boat crossings.

August 6, 2020: 235 people reach the UK

Migrants arrived in the UK aboard 17 boats in what was then the highest numbers on record.

In one incident, Border Force apprehended 15 people who had landed at Dungeness beach in Kent.

July 30, 2020: 202 people reach the UK

At least 202 migrants managed to cross to Britain in a surge of 20 boats on July 30.

The arrivals said they were from a diverse range of nationalities, including: Yemeni, Palestinian, Ertitrean, Chad, Egyptian, Sudanese, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Iranian, Indian, and Mali.

July 12, 2020: 180 people reach the UK

On the day Priti Patel announced a ‘new operational approach’ to dealing with small boat crossings, a record number of migrants made it to the UK.

At least 180 migrants were able to cross the English Channel to the UK, among more than 380 migrants who attempted the crossing, the rest being intercepted by French authorities.

<!—->

Advertisement

Speaking to MailOnline, Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union said: ‘To say Border Force are stretched is an understatement. 

‘Staff are working excessive hours in unsuitable conditions and at the moment in extreme heat. Not only are those working at sea seriously over capacity so are those on land. 

‘From the Immigration Enforcement Officers who are tasked with screening and processing on arrival, to asylum caseworkers who have a 450 per cent increase in workload and the local authorities who have to find accommodation, support etc, in due course this pressure will also find its way through to the legal system as refused cases go through appeal. 

‘Although we do see families with children the majority of migrants continue to be young men. Many have asylum applications already refused elsewhere in Europe.’

Plans for sweeping reforms of the asylum system, dubbed the anti-refugee Bill by critics and campaigners, were debated again in Parliament yesterday. Theresa May sounded warnings over the prospect of the UK sending asylum seekers to Australia-style offshore processing centres. 

The former prime minister said she considered the idea when home secretary but rejected the option due to ‘practical concerns’. 

Her remarks came as MPs considered the Nationality and Borders Bill, which includes clauses to allow the UK to be able to send asylum seekers to a ‘safe third country’ and to submit claims at a ‘designated place’ determined by the Secretary of State.

Bella Sankey, director of charity Detention Action, said: ‘The Home Office’s anti-refugee Bill is political theatre that doesn’t even pretend to deal with the issue or make our system, safe, fair or efficient. 

‘We need a mechanism allowing refugees arriving at the UK border in France to be given safe passage, and until we have it, all else is noise and distraction.’

Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said today: ‘There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the Channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

‘People should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives making these dangerous crossing. We are continuing to pursue the criminals behind these illegal crossings.

‘Police patrols on French beaches and enhanced intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies has helped to prevent crossings through a combination of inland and sea patrols.

‘The Government continues to undertake substantial steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration through the Nationality and Borders Bill which will protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings. The Government is also continuing to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK.’

In Dungeness in Kent, around 50 people were seen landing on a beach after crossing aboard in a single dinghy. Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline amid 75F sunshine.

The large dinghy is believed to have left northern France or Belgium earlier on Monday before crossing the dangerous 21-mile Dover Strait. 

Have you seen any migrant boats arriving on the south coast? Email [email protected] 

<!—->

Advertisement

The vessel had been watched by the RNLI as it got closer and closer to the coast before eventually landing on the beach at around 1pm. Among the arrivals were women and children, some too young to walk, and some people had to be supported as they walked on to the beach. 

A witness told the Sun that within five minutes a police car had arrived but all of the migrants had already disappeared. She added that two men, who appeared to be British, arrived with snacks and flasks of coffee before clearing discarded lifejackets.  

A large inflatable was pictured on the beach at Dungeness in Kent where 88 people are said to have landed, according to independent monitors posting on social media.

Two coaches were pictured at the pebble beach as the group were detained by Border Force officers. It came after 241 people arrived in the UK on Sunday on board eight boats, as 2021 continues to see rising numbers of crossings.

Border Force and Kent Police were in attendance at the scene as they awaited the arrivals on Monday afternoon. The black dinghy came ashore on Dungeness Beach, around 30 miles along the coast from the port of Dover. 

The vessel had been watched by the RNLI as it got closer and closer to the coast before eventually landing on the beach at around 1pm.

Some people raised their hands in the air in apparent celebration at having completed the dangerous journey, while others had to be supported as they walked on to the beach. 

A man helps a woman as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A man helps a woman as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A man helps a woman as a group of people thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

Children amongst a group of people thought to be migrants play on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

Children amongst a group of people thought to be migrants play on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

Children amongst a group of people thought to be migrants play on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

Dozens of people, including women and young children, were seen arriving at Dungeness

Dozens of people, including women and young children, were seen arriving at Dungeness

Dozens of people, including women and young children, were seen arriving at Dungeness

Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline amid 75.2F (24C) sunshine

Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline amid 75.2F (24C) sunshine

Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline amid 75.2F (24C) sunshine

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

A group of people thought to be migrants sit on the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent

The large dinghy is believed to have left northern France or Belgium earlier on Monday before crossing the dangerous 21-mile Dover Strait

The large dinghy is believed to have left northern France or Belgium earlier on Monday before crossing the dangerous 21-mile Dover Strait

The large dinghy is believed to have left northern France or Belgium earlier on Monday before crossing the dangerous 21-mile Dover Strait

Among the arrivals were women and children, some too young to walk. More people are believed to have attempted the cross to the UK on Monday, with Border Force and French warships active in the English Channel.

More than 1,850 people have succeeded in reaching Britain on board small boats in July so far, according to data analysis by the PA news agency, more than the total for the whole of 2019.  

And yesterday at least five boats were brought into Dover Marina, Kent, according to eyewitnesses, with the first vessel intercepted around 12pm.

Three young girls were on board the first boat brought into Dover Marina, Kent around 12pm. Two of them were sitting on the knees of men believed to be their fathers.

They were helped out of the Border Force vessel by Immigration Enforcement officers and escorted up the gangway for processing. The youngest girl, aged around three, was carried in the arms of an officer.

Two Border Force officers used jet skis to bring the red rigid hulled inflatable boat with outboard engine which they used to cross the Channel into harbour. They were followed by about 50 men who were brought to shore in separate Border Force vessels.

The huge new cutter Hurricane was used to bring dozens more in shortly after 2pm in what proved to be a busy afternoon of crossings. They were among the first arrivals since 10 migrants made the journey in one boat last Tuesday.

French authorities intercepted an additional seven boats carrying 129 migrants – while also preventing a further 15 people from entering the water. 

It comes as the Borders Bill is set to be debated in Parliament. The legislation looks to deter illegal entry and crackdown on people smuggling gangs by making it a criminal offence for migrants to attempt to enter the UK without valid entry clearance.

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s crackdown comes after June saw more migrants cross the Channel by small boat than in any month ever before.

Have you seen any migrant boats arriving on the south coast? Email [email protected] 

Leave a Reply

LIVE OFFLINE
track image
Loading...