Channel migrants: No easy answers to issue, says Javid

Migrants

Migrants

The Government's immigration minister is to visit Dover on Saturday after Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared the rising number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel a "major incident".

"More than 200 migrants have arrived on the Kent coast in small craft in the past two months".

Rejecting Mr Javid's suggestion that increasing patrols would encourage more people to attempt the crossing, Mr Elphicke said: "You don't deter burglars by leaving your front door open".

Javid added that journeys are being fuelled by instability in the Middle East, organised crime and tighter security at Calais, adding: "Unfortunately there are no easy answers".

He added: "While we have obligations to genuine asylum seekers... we will not stand by and allow reckless criminals to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our global society".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a tweet: "We have a duty to reach out the hand of humanity, support and friendship to people who are in danger and seeking a place of safety".

Mr Javid has cut short his Christmas break and is returning to Westminster to deal with what he described as a "major incident" unfolding in waters off the south coast of England.

Some MPs - including Conservative backbenchers - have criticised a lack of detail, as well as calling for more Border Force patrol boats to be deployed.

With well over 100 migrants having broken into Britain by boat in recent weeks, the majority of whom reportedly hail from Iran, Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Friday declared a "major incident" in English waters, cutting short his Christmas break overseas to respond to the issue.

ISU spokeswoman Lucy Moreton said it was "very hard to know" how much the French authorities were doing to prevent people-smuggling from the camps housing migrants around Calais.

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Officers attended to assist Border Force officials who are dealing with the case.

In his call with Mr Castaner, Mr Javid assured the French Interior Minister of the UK's commitment to supporting his country's efforts to tackle the problem, including by supplying personnel and equipment.

The Conservative MP said the Home Office was not taking the matter "seriously enough".

Mr Javid has appointed a "gold commander" to take overall charge of the situation and make strategic decisions about the response.

But critics pointed out that the scale of the attempted crossings paled in comparison to the migrant crisis witnessed across the world, and that the issue has been ongoing.

"I and my French counterpart are clear that we must stop it".

Ms Nokes and Mr Elphicke are to discuss the situation with Border Force officers in Dover.

"Let's start by bringing back our cutters to the English Channel".

Even though more than 10,000 Syrians having been flown into the United Kingdom under government resettlement programmes in the last few years, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Ed Davey claimed that the only way to tackle illegal immigration is for Britain to "ensure safe routes to sanctuary in Britain for those forced out of their homes, whether by war in Syria or persecution in Iran".

A spokeswoman for the French Maritime Prefecture, Ingrid Parrot, said the number of illicit crossings in small boats had increased from 23 in 2016 and 13 in 2017 to 70 this year, the majority of them after the end of October.

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