Small boats carrying 49 migrants stopped from crossing English Channel into UK

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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 February 2021

The National

Feb 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

UK’s immigration minister claims 70 per cent of attempted crossings have been prevented in 2021

Thousands of migrants crossed the English Channel from northern France in 2020 and the UK is working to reduce the numbers.  AFP Thousands of migrants crossed the English Channel from northern France in 2020 and the UK is working to reduce the numbers.  AFP

The National

Feb 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Four small boats carrying 49 people have been intercepted as they crossed the English Channel from northern Europe.

French authorities stopped another 126 people travelling in eight boats, UK Immigration Minister Chris Philp said.

More than 8,000 people crossed into the UK from northern Europe in 2020, often navigating one of the world’s busiest shipping routes in overloaded dinghies.

An increase in maritime migration followed tighter controls at ferry ports and travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The surge in numbers caused a political headache for the UK government, which struck a series of deals with France to prevent the attempted crossings but failed to stem the numbers.

However, Mr Philp said that the French authorities had stopped more than 70 per cent of attempted Channel crossings this year.

“Criminals are exploiting migrants for profit and are selling false dreams of life in the UK,” he said. “That is why we are pursuing the facilitators behind these crossings, returning migrants who have no right to stay in the UK to safe countries and continuing to do everything we can to make this route unviable.

Published: February 23, 2021 02:03 PM

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