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UK, France to take action over rise in Channel migrant crossings

01 January 2019

More than 220 people have tried to enter England by crossing the English Channel since early last month.

He wrote: "Unfortunately, this means that there are no easy answers".

The Home Secretary has promised to do more to tackle the issue, saying it is of "grave concern" that people are attempting the perilous crossing.

It's thought the plan will involve action targeting people trafficking gangs, and to raise awareness among migrants of the potential dangers.

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.

The Sunday Telegraph says Mr Javid is under pressure to "get a grip" of the problem after appearing to concede the Government's response had been ineffective.

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Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has repeated calls for Border Force cutters to be called back from search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean to patrol the Channel.

The governments of France and Britain scrambled to respond Sunday to a mounting number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel, a trend illustrated by six Iranian men who turned up on a beach in southeastern England.

The group were handed over to immigration authorities after being spotted in Kingsdown, near Deal.

The head of the National Crime Agency-led Project Invigor organised immigration crime task force Chris Hogben warned more crossings were "likely" in the coming weeks.

But Javid - who agreed to "strengthen our actions" with French Interior Minister Christopher Castaner - has been accused of failing to command the situation.

In Mr Javid's absence, immigration minister Caroline Nokes visited a centre handling the asylum-seeking migrants in Dover on Saturday.

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Mr Elphicke said: "I welcome the Home Secretary taking personal responsibility for the situation".

"It is really important to remember that we are dealing with people's lives, people who have taken a awful, bad risk, but that we are working with the French to find the most effective route for returns for those who it is appropriate for".

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

Three migrants who were attempting to cross The English Channel from France to Britain are seen as they drift in an inflatable canoe off the French coast at Calais in August.

He said it was vital the United Kingdom struck "a balance between protecting them (migrants) and protecting our borders".

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UK, France to take action over rise in Channel migrant crossings