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Migrants arrive in Dover for 10th day in a row

UK News | Published:

People in lifejackets and masks were brought into the harbour aboard a Border Force patrol boat.

Migrants

Migrants have arrived in Dover for an unprecedented 10th day in a row.

People in lifejackets and masks were brought into the harbour aboard a Border Force patrol boat before being taken ashore by officials.

Favourable weather in the English Channel has made the crossing possible for hundreds of migrants over the last 10 days, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel’s vow to make the route “unviable”.

More than 900 migrants have arrived since Tuesday last week, not including any that have arrived so far today.

The Government has asked for military assistance, which so far has taken the form of two RAF planes, but proposals to send armed forces to the English Channel to deal with small boat crossings have come under fire from France.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart said sending the Royal Navy into the English Channel to deal with migrant crossings is a “declaration of maritime war”.

Ms Patel told Tory MPs the asylum system is “broken” as she promised to introduce laws that would “send the left into meltdown”, The Times reported on Thursday.

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The Home Secretary said the system was being “exploited by leftie Labour-supporting lawyers” who were doing everything they could to stop the Government removing people.

Shadow secretary of state for justice David Lammy said the “leftie lawyers” comments were “extremely distasteful”.

He added: “Caricaturing an entire profession, which is subject to a code of conduct and upholds the rule of law, is dangerous and unbecoming of a serious Home Secretary.”

Meanwhile Kent County Council said it could be just “days away” from being unable to look after more asylum seeking children arriving on its shores.

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In Dover on Thursday morning more suspected migrants including children arrived on Border Force’s patrol boat Speedwell.

They were taken ashore by immigration officials where they will be assessed for symptoms of coronavirus, as is protocol.

Border Force cutter Seeker and French border patrol boat Scarpe have also been active in the Channel on Thursday.

It comes after 71 migrants arrived in the UK on Wednesday, travelling aboard six boats.

Hundreds of migrants have crossed the dangerous waters of the Channel on small boats in the last 10 days.

The numbers peaked on August 6 when 235 made it to the UK – a single-day record.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover (Steve Parsons/PA)

Ms Patel’s newly appointed Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, Dan O’Mahoney, said: “These crossings are dangerous and unnecessary and I am determined to stop them.

“The minister and I met with French officials in Paris on Tuesday for discussions on how to advance joint working on making the small boats route for illegal migration unviable.

“We will continue to go after the heinous criminals and organised crime networks putting people’s lives at risk.”

The Government’s handling of migrant crossings came under fire from Labour, which accused it of lacking “competence and compassion”.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said on Wednesday that it had resulted in thousands risking their lives in dangerous waters.

In a letter to Ms Patel, Mr Thomas-Symonds said ministers must provide solutions rather than “empty headlines” to tackle the issue.

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