Sudden spike in Channel migrant boats gets United Kingdom attention


Conservative MPs criticised Mr Javid for not deploying another cutter, the high-speed patrol boats used by the Border Force, in the Channel.

Before the latest landing nearly 100 migrants travelled from France to the United Kingdom in dinghies and other small vessels over the Christmas period - and the rise in journeys has been fuelled by instability in the Middle East, organised crime and tighter security at Calais.

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

The Home Office has been contacted for a comment.

He spoke by phone on Sunday with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who said they had agreed to "strengthen our actions to combat Channel crossings undertaken by certain irregular migrants on small boats, at peril of their lives".

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The Iranian men were picked up by Border Force officers who were called to Kingsdown near Deal at 7.30am after the group were found with a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB).

With three months left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the draft divorce deal reached between both sides is floundering ahead of a planned vote in the British parliament next month, opening up a range of possibilities from a Brexit without a trade deal to calling it off entirely.

Their attempts are not unique - the number of migrants attempting to reach the United Kingdom by boat has grown over the past several months.

The United Kingdom's Home Office said on Sunday the men had been given medical checks and turned over to immigration officials for processing.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said the UK's armed forces "stand ready" if needed to prevent further crossings.

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Six Iranian men have been found on a beach in southeastern England, according to British officials, as the number of migrants making crossings of the English Channel in small boats from France continues to rise.

There has been a recent spike in attempts to from the Channel from France.

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

But Mr Javid faced accusations of over-egging the scale of the problem, with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott telling the Guardian: "There's no question that with Brexit, and also with the approach of the meaningful vote in January, people are being whipped up about migration issues, because the Government thinks this is the best way of frightening people to vote for their deal".

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.

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