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More than 1,000 people arrive in UK in ten days after crossing English Channel in small boats

1,004 migrants were brought ashore by Border Force between 4 August and 13 August.

Migrants brought on shore by the border force at Dover port
Migrants brought on shore by the border force at Dover port
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

OVER 1,000 MIGRANTS arrived in the UK in ten days after crossing the English Channel.

An analysis by the PA news agency shows that 1,004 migrants were brought ashore by Border Force between 4 August and 13 August.

It takes the total so far this year to at least 4,511, more than double the amount thought to have crossed during the whole of 2019.

On Saturday, the UK’s Home Office confirmed that 89 migrants who made the crossing in five boats were brought to the UK on Thursday, as well as 48 who arrived in four boats on Friday.

The news comes after immigration minister Chris Philp promised a “new, comprehensive action plan” to stem the latest surge in crossings after talks with French officials in Paris on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) responded to the Home Office’s formal request for help by sending in RAF planes.

Three have been sent up into the skies above the English Channel this week so far to carry out surveillance and attempt to intercept emerging crossing attempts.

It comes after the mayor of the French port of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, described sending in the navy to French broadcasters as a “declaration of maritime war”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel last year pledged that the migrant crossings would be an “infrequent phenomenon” by now and has since insisted she is working to make the route “completely unviable”.

Earlier this week she reportedly told Tory MPs the asylum system was “broken” as she promised to bring forward legal reforms while she claimed laws were being exploited by “leftie Labour-supporting lawyers” who were trying to frustrate efforts to deport people.

But human rights campaigners and lawyers hit back at the comments, saying they were simply doing their job upholding the rule of law.

Charities have repeatedly insisted that efforts by the government to provide those seeking asylum of a safe and legal route of doing so before boarding a boat on the Channel would stop the crossings in their tracks.

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, accused Ms Patel of “playing politics with people’s lives” as the crossings continue, particularly as many boats include several children some of whom are too young to walk.

She said: “The mishandling of this situation continues and now the Home Secretary is nakedly playing politics with people’s lives and the UK’s proud tradition of providing refugee protection.

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“This cruel political strategy is divisive, dangerous and unnecessary – Government needs to do better.”

Stephen Hale, chief executive of Refugee Action, said the Home Secretary’s “aggressive hostility” to people seeking asylum is “making a difficult situation much worse”.

He added: “She is right that the asylum system needs reform. But her diagnosis is profoundly wrong.

“Knee jerk attacks on the principle of asylum or the rule of law are unbecoming of this or any government.

Dan O’Mahoney, the Home Office’s newly appointed clandestine Channel threat commander, reiterated warnings the crossings were “dangerous and unnecessary”, adding: “I have already met the French and reaffirmed our joint commitment to stopping these crossings and making this route totally unviable.

“I will continue to work with the French to tackle the criminals behind the crossings and the organised crime networks which put people’s lives at risk.

“Twenty-three people smugglers have been jailed this year and two more were charged in recent weeks.”

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