1,100 migrants cross the Channel on small boats to the UK in two days | Immigration and asylum
On Friday and Saturday, more than 1,100 people crossed the Channel in small boats, as France accused Britain of failing to provide funds pledged to tackle the problem.
After 10 days in which no crossings were possible, 624 people reached the UK in small boats on Friday – the fourth highest daily tally on record during the current crisis – and 491 did so on Saturday. At least 40 boats disembarked over the two days.
On Saturday, after a visit to Dunkirk, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said “not a euro has been paid” of the £ 55million pledged to France to help fight the crossings of migrants.
The Home Secretary recently threatened to withhold funding unless more people are prevented from reaching the UK.
But shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Priti Patel’s strategy of not paying “clearly isn’t working”. He told Sky News: “The Home Secretary has to be frank because everyone who risks their life on this dangerous Channel crossing is one too many …
“I have always thought that the Minister of the Interior should take a different approach. While of course the coast patrols preventing people from getting into the water and risking their lives are extremely important, what I fear the Home Secretary is missing is the fact that no one does not become a refugee in the north of France. We also need to tackle the smugglers and those vile criminal gangs further from the coast. “
While the Nationality and Borders Bill dictates tougher penalties for human trafficking, it would also mean that anyone entering the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel , could be declared inadmissible, receive a prison sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds and their family members cannot join them.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHRC) has claimed that the bill, currently before committee, would violate the 1951 refugee convention.
So far this year, more than 18,000 people have made it to the UK on small boats, according to data compiled by the PA news agency. This is despite the Border Force’s use of pushback tactics that a charity said on Sunday could have “horrific” consequences.
Kim Bryan, of Channel Rescue, who observes migrants arriving in small boats, said that over the past two weeks, from the Cliffs of Dover, his group had spotted border force officials deploying pushbacks using of jet skis.
“What they seem to be doing is pushing the boat off the stern and the bow, and I guess the idea is that they’re going to push it back into French waters,” she told Sunday. BBC Breakfast.
Darmanin told the Associated Press on Saturday: “So far, not a euro has been paid. We are asking the British to keep their funding promises because we are holding the border to them. “
But business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the UK was working “very effectively” with France to tackle migrant crossings from the Channel. He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “All I can say is that we have worked very effectively with the French government so far.”