More than 6,100 migrants cross Channel to UK despite vow to make route 'unviable'

September 12, 2020

More than 6,100 migrants have arrived in the UK on small boats so far this year, according to new figures.

The analysis by the Press Association shows that, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel's vow to make the route "unviable", people are continuing to risk the dangerous crossing between France and the UK.

On Friday, at least 319 people made the journey on 27 boats, taking advantage of the fine weather and calm conditions.

There were reports that dozens of people wrapped in blankets and wearing life jackets were taken to the port of Dover to be processed by immigration officials.

After a lull in people attempting the dangerous crossing over the last few days, crossings resumed in large numbers amid low winds.

The operation was co-ordinated by the coastguard, with the RNLI.

Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O'Mahoney went out on a cutter working with Border Force officers dealing with the boats.

"The unseaworthy vessels I saw provided further evidence that these crossings, so often facilitated by criminals, are risking people's lives," he said.

"We are working with the French to make this route completely unviable, and this morning the French prevented more people from embarking on this perilous journey - but we know the numbers arriving are still too high.

"These migrants are leaving France, which is a safe country.

"Those seeking refuge can and should claim asylum there, rather than attempting these dangerous crossings to the UK."

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