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Calls for action as 296 migrants cross Channel in two days

The Home Office has called on France to take tougher action after almost 300 migrants crossed the Channel in two days.

On Thursday a record figure of 202 people attempted the crossing in 20 small boats, and were intercepted by Border Force patrols.

Coaches were sent to Dover on Thursday to pick up a record number of migrants. Picture by Paul Armstrong
Coaches were sent to Dover on Thursday to pick up a record number of migrants. Picture by Paul Armstrong

Extra coaches were seen in Dover as the number was branded by the Home Office as "unacceptably high", but the figure was followed yesterday by another 96 migrants.

Today Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp repeated the statement and said migrants continue to arrive in Calais to make the crossing.

“The French have to take tougher action," he added. "We need stronger enforcement measures, including interceptions at sea and direct return of boats.

“The French have heard that directly from the Home Secretary and we will continue to work with them until the situation changes.

“We will also continue to go after the criminals who facilitate these crossings and return the migrants who come to the UK in this way.”

The Home Office has also branded the "Dublin Regulations" which govern the rules for returning illegal inmigrants as "not fit for purpose", and is hoping to negotiate a new returns agreement at the end of the year.

Home Office officials say they will continue to go after the criminals who facilitate these crossings, and say 22 people smugglers have been jailed this year, with 11 more arrests made this week.

Yesterday French officials prevented more migrants from crossing than made it to the UK.

Border Force officials at Dover on Thursday, when a record number of migrants attempted to cross the Channel. Picture by Paul Armstrong
Border Force officials at Dover on Thursday, when a record number of migrants attempted to cross the Channel. Picture by Paul Armstrong

Border Force provided the following details on the occupants of nine vessels intercepted yesterday:

A vessel which was carrying 11 males and 3 females who presented themselves as Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.

A vessel carrying a group of 7 males and 1 female, who presented themselves as Syrian and Eritrean nationals.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 10 males and 3 females who presented themselves as Kuwaiti nationals.

A group of 8 males and 4 females.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 12 males and 5 females who presented themselves as Afghani and Iranian nationals.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 8 males who presented themselves as Sudanese nationals.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 4 males.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 4 individuals who presented themselves as Sudanese nationals.

A vessel which was carrying a group of 10 males and 6 females who presented themselves as Kuwaiti and Iranian.

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