Priti Patel announces crackdown as migrant crossings peak

Monday, July 13, 2020

A record number of migrants reached the UK yesterday, as Priti Patel and her French counterpart announced a “new operational approach” to tackle the issue.

At least 180 migrants were able to cross the English Channel to the UK on Sunday – a new single-day record.

They were among more than 380 migrants who attempted the dangerous crossing on Sunday, the Home Office confirmed this morning.

More than 200 migrants were intercepted by French authorities and prevented from reaching British shores.

It coincided with the Home Secretary’s visit to Calais to meet French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, where the pair agreed to create a Franco-British intelligence cell.

She said: “Despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date – intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars – the numbers continue to increase.

“This simply cannot be allowed to go on. Today, I have signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crack down on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries.”

The full details of the approach have not yet been made public.

Numbers of migrants trying to cross the English Channel have surged during lockdown, with some taking on the journey in kayaks and even a paddling pool.

The Home Office has previously put the rise in boat crossings partly down to coronavirus movement restrictions preventing road crossings.

Read more

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