Boris Johnson has urged France to ‘close off’ the flow of migrants crossing into their country to stop them from sailing to the UK after a record 1,185 migrants crossed the Channel yesterday and three who fell from kayaks are feared dead.
The Prime Minister, 57, hit out at Emmanuel Macron’s Government for not policing their beaches to stop migrants from sailing to Britain on small boats, arguing it is difficult for UK Border Force to turn migrants back safely in the English Channel as he defended Priti Patel’s border policies.
Speaking at a vaccination centre in Old Bexley and Sidcup, south east London, Mr Johnson insisted that the UK was dealing with the migrant crisis in the ‘most effective’ way, as he called on France to shut their borders to ‘close off’ the flow of migrants arriving in the country with the purpose of sailing across the Channel to reach the UK.
He told Sky News: ‘They are coming from France. In the end, if the French authorities will not or cannot control those departures it is very difficult for us to turn them back at sea. We want to do that in a safe and in a humane way but it’s very difficult.
‘You have to work with the French and you have to try to persuade them to police the beaches that are sending these people over to us.’
His comments came after a record 1,185 reached the UK by sailing across the English Channel yesterday, while three migrants are feared dead after they were reported missing as they tried to cross the Channel on kayaks in the early hours of this morning.
Whitehall sources blasted France for ‘ceding sovereign territory to people smugglers’ in an incendiary attack on Emmanuel Macron’s government as a record daily number of migrants crossed the English Channel.
The Prime Minister, 57, defended the Government’s policy on migrants and instead hit out at the French president, 43, arguing that France need to shut their borders to prevent migrants from sailing across the English Channel to reach the UK
Speaking at a vaccination centre in Old Bexley and Sidcup, London, Mr Johnson hit out at Emmanuel Macron’s government (pictured) for not policing their beaches, arguing it is difficult for UK Border Force to turn migrants back safely at sea
The Prime Minister went on to hit out at France for not closing down their borders or policing their beaches, arguing that migrants are arriving in France with the purpose of sailing across the English Channel.
He said: ‘We are working all the time with our French colleagues, the whole of Europe faces a migration crisis as you can see with what is happening in Belarus and elsewhere, but we need to focus on those French beaches.
‘What I would say to our French friends is if you close off the door to the corridor at the far end, then people won’t come into the corridor at the other end.
‘We need to close down that movement from the French beaches to the UK, if you want to stop people coming into France to come to the UK.’
Mr Johnson also defended Priti Patel’s controversial new borders bill, which aims to deter illegal entry into the UK and could see people arriving by an illegal route, such as by sailing across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible and receive a jail sentence of up to four years.
He said that the law could make a distinction ‘between those who arrive here legally, and those who come here illegally’, arguing that it will make an ‘important difference’ in the migrant crisis.
He continued: ‘It won’t be the end of the story but it will make an important difference in the way that we are able to treat people who arrive here illegally.’
Meanwhile, three migrants are feared dead after they were reported missing as they tried to cross the English Channel on kayaks in the early hours of this morning.
French coastguard officers said they were alerted to the two vessels found adrift off the coast of Calais and picked up two while three others remained lost as a search was called off.
France was blasted for ‘ceding sovereign territory to people smugglers’ in an incendiary attack on Emmanuel Macron’s government as a record daily number of migrants crossed the English Channel.
A record 1,000 people reached the UK in a single day after risking their lives in small boats in the English Channel – taking the November total soaring past 3,000 (pictured yesterday)
A young girl wrapped in a red jacket was carried ashore in Dover on Thursday, one of the masses brought into the Kent port after being picked up at sea
Whitehall sources blasted the president for letting ‘hundreds of people set sail to their death’ while they ‘only stop a couple of boats’.
The insiders revealed threats to cut off the £54million being drip fed to the French to boost patrols and stop the ‘armada’ of migrants leaving their beaches.
Ministers are concerned the row has become wrapped up in fighting over fishing rights, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the submarine deal between Britain, the US and Australia.
The latest war of words comes after a staggering 1,185 reached the UK on small boats by sailing across the English Channel yesterday, smashing the daily record.
A young girl wrapped in a red jacket was carried ashore in Dover on Thursday, one of the masses brought into the Kent port after being picked up at sea.
Lifeboat crews and Border Force boats were busy well into the evening after spending hours intercepting boats in the Dover Straight throughout the day.
Thursday’s total surpassed the previous single-day record for the current crisis of 853 set earlier this month as the November figure soars past 3,000.
As of lunchtime on Friday no migrants had been spotted entering Britain amid rough seas, huge downpours and strong winds.
Lifeboat crews and Border Force boats were busy well into the evening after spending hours intercepting boats in the Dover Straight throughout the day
Thursday’s total surpasses the previous single-day record for the current crisis of 853 set earlier this month
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by Coastguard officers yesterday
A spokesman for the French Prefecture Maritime revealed this morning three migrants were missing and feared dead in the Channel.
They said: ‘We were also informed in the early morning that two kayaks had been found adrift, off Calais, by the national gendarmerie.
‘Two shipwrecked were recovered by the boat Eulimène of the national gendarmerie and deposited in Calais. Unfortunately the castaways indicated that three people were missing.
‘Despite the resources deployed, the three people could not be found and the search was suspended at the end of the day.’
Insiders last night revealed how seething Whitehall is with Mr Macron over his continued failure to handle the spiralling migrant crisis.
The source said: ‘They let hundreds of people potentially set sail to their death whilst only stopping a couple of boats. They appear to have ceded sovereign territory to criminal people smugglers.
‘This abject failure will be raised in the strongest possible terms with Gerald Darmanin [France’s minister of the interior].’
They accused France of stopping less than a third of boats leaving the coast this week and slammed the country for ‘failing in its duty to protect life’.
But sources inside Border Force blasted the Home Office for leaving it ‘completely under-resourced and under-staffed’ because it only expected 2,000 migrants in the whole of November.
Officials were busy well into Thursday evening in Dover as they worked to process the many arrivals that continued to flood in.
Children wrapped in jackets and blankets against the autumn chill, some carried in the arms of adults, were among being helped onto the quayside throughout the day.
Further along the coast, more people were reportedly seen arriving on Hastings beach after being picked up by the RNLI.
Volunteers from the organisation told the Telegraph they were at ‘breaking point’ after being constantly chasing down migrant boats.
They said: ‘Our employers are starting to ask why we are never at work. This should really be a job for the Government not the RNLI.’
They added: ‘What happens when there’s an emergency somewhere else? To be honest we are all completely knackered.’
Two people have lost their lives attempting the perilous crossing and more are feared missing at sea in recent weeks. Yesterday’s 1,000 means the figure for this year is almost 24,000 – close to three times as many as in 2020.
On Wednesday, UK authorities intercepted or rescued 695 people from 22 boats, while French officials stopped just 255 from seven vessels.
Border officials were busy well into Thursday evening in Dover as they worked to process the many arrivals
Children wrapped in jackets and blankets against the autumn chill, some carried in the arms of adults, were among being helped onto the quayside throughout the day
Further along the coast, more people were reportedly seen arriving on Hastings beach after being picked up by the RNLI
Yesterday’s 1,000 arrivals mean the figure for this year is almost 24,000 – close to three times as many as in 2020
Despite visibility dropping in the morning and weather deteriorating at sea, around 40 people were seen disembarking from the Dover lifeboat shortly before 8am
Despite visibility dropping in the morning and weather deteriorating at sea, around 40 people were seen disembarking from the Dover lifeboat shortly before 8am.
Thirty more were brought into harbour around 9.30am on board Border Force cutter Hunter. Around 490 brought in on Wednesday were had to sleep on the floor at the Tug Haven reception due to pressure on Border Force.
A source said: ‘The conditions are vile, we can’t even get the cleaners in because there are so many migrants arriving.
‘They’re not covered by the risk assessments. There are only two toilets and we can’t get them cleaned. Border Force is suffering yet again from the historical inadequate funding.’
Yesterday, two boats were seen arriving before 5am while RNLI’s Dungeness lifeboat The Morrell brought around 50 migrants into Dover Marina before dawn. It returned with 30 more at 8.30am.
The RNLI dispatched lifeboats from Ramsgate, Dover, Dungeness, all in Kent, and Hastings, East Sussex. Around 50 migrants disembarked from one lifeboat on the beach at Hastings at 12.30pm.
Among those seen clambering up the shingle were young girls wearing thick winter coats wrapped in foil blankets.
One group of migrants was prevented from landing by rescue services after drifting dangerously close to the MoD firing range at Lydd, Kent.
Thirty more were brought into the harbour around 9.30am on board Border Force cutter Hunter
Around 490 brought in on Wednesday were had to sleep on the floor at the Tug Haven reception due to pressure on Border Force (pictured yesterday)
Among those seen clambering up the shingle were young girls wearing thick winter coats wrapped in foil blankets
It comes after 853 migrants sailed from Europe in 25 boats on Wednesday last week on what was the record daily figure. It led government sources to accuse the French of ‘lamentable inaction’.
The numbers have seen tensions rise between London and Paris as it was revealed fewer than half of the migrants have been stopped by French authorities.
Dan O’Mahoney, the UK’s Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, warned: ‘Migrants making these dangerous crossings are putting their lives at risk.
‘It is vital we do everything we can to prevent them and break the business model of the criminal gangs exploiting people.’
The UK has started paying £54million in smaller chunks to France to help fund them holding back the migrants. The monthly total for November so far has passed 3,500, compared with 757 over the same period last year.
Border Force chiefs had been planning for just 2,000 crossings over the whole of the month. Mr Macron’s government promised to stop migrants leaving French beaches through increased patrols in return for £54 million from the UK.
Priti Patel approved the first instalment of the sum last week following assurances from her opposite number, Mr Darmanin, that 100 per cent of the boats would be intercepted if the UK pays the full amount.
A Home Office spokesman said yesterday: ‘The number of illegal migrants we have seen departing from France today is unacceptable.
‘The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.’
A Border Force officer secures a boat in Dover which was used by people thought to be migrants following a small boat incident in the Channel
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, as small boat incidents in the Channel continue into the evening
Border Force vessel Seeker leaves the Port of Dover in Kent, as small boat incidents in the Channel
Source: Daily Mail UK