Channel migrants aboard eight boats attempt crossing to UK


The UK’s Border Force has intercepted eight boats carrying 120 migrants trying to cross the English Channel on Tuesday, the Home Office has said.

A government spokesman said three boats were intercepted in the early hours and five more were encountered later. All 120 passengers were brought to the UK.

French authorities meanwhile said they rescued a further 38 migrants on the same day, including three found clinging to a buoy off Calais.

Four migrants were also found on board a kayak north of Calais, French officials added.

On Thursday, a record 202 migrants crossed the Channel in 20 boats.

Since January 01, more than 3,580 migrants have reached the UK in small boats, BBC research shows.

Coastguards said a search and rescue operation was launched off Kent in response to “multiple incidents”.

A spokesman said: “We are committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

“HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”

Chris Philip, Minister for Immigration Compliance, said the government was urgently working with the French authorities to take tougher action.

He said: “France have stopped thousands of migrants this year and made more interceptions today, but the route has not been cut.

“If the route is cut completely, migrants will have no reason to come to France in the first place.

“Migrants have no need and no right to leave France which is a safe country with a well-functioning asylum system and attempt to come to the UK by illicit means.

“We are determined to make this route unviable.” (Source: BBC)