United Kingdom home secretary declares migrant crossings a 'major incident'

01 January, 2019, 05:58 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Diocese of Canterbury

Ahead of Mr Javid's cross-government meeting, the NCA warned that more "highly dangerous" attempts by migrants to reach the United Kingdom are likely - and said tackling organised criminal gangs is an "operational priority".

Following a call with his French counterpart, Christophe Castaner, the pair agreed an "enhanced action plan" to be put in place in the coming week.

It pledged to increase joint patrols and surveillance and to dismantle the criminal gangs involved in trafficking.

Journeys are being fuelled by instability in the Middle East, organised crime and tighter security at Calais, he said, adding: "Unfortunately there are no easy answers".

The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22 percent in 2018, Ireland's foreign office said on Monday, more than doubling the total of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

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

Sky News understands Mr Javid will speak to French interior minister Christopher Castaner on Sunday, with the home secretary keeping the number of Border Force vessels patrolling the Channel under close review.

The six were found at Kingsdown Beach, near Deal, earlier today after travelling in an inflatable boat and have been handed over to immigration authorities. "So our response is focused both here in the United Kingdom and overseas".

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On Thursday, British border officials found 23 Iranians in three locations in Kent on England's southeast coast, hours after French maritime authorities intercepted 11 migrants in a small boat near Sangatte.

Compared to other influxes of migrants and refugees, the numbers trying to cross the Channel recently are tiny.

He said on Saturday: "The situation in the Channel is of grave concern, with people gambling their lives in reckless attempts to reach the United Kingdom in unsafe boats and treacherous conditions".

Gavin Williamson said: "We have not had any requests as yet but if the Home Office is in need of armed forces support then our navy, air force and army stand ready to assist".

In 2017, 26,350 people applied for asylum, an average of about 2,200 a month.

The main United Kingdom opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said there was a "duty to reach out the hand of humanity" to people facing danger and seeking safety. "Ultimately the buck stops with the Home Secretary".

She also rejected claims not enough is being done to tackle people smugglers.

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