The MP for Dover and Deal has Natalie Cecilia Elphicke OBE has slammed the French authorities for allowing boatloads of suspected illegal immigrants to cross the English Channel to Britain.
Almost 200 migrants have been intercepted in the Channel in two days leading to the politician making the comment.
Mrs Elphicke OBE, said: “It beggars belief that another flotilla of small boats got past the French again today.
“These are serious security lapses and we need an urgent explanation from the French as to what they are doing to get a grip on this situation.
“I am mindful that the search and rescue operations this week have involved all three border force vessels, RNLI lifeboats, HM Coastguard, a plane, a helicopter, ambulance services, police and much besides. These are emergency services for the UK, diverted from vital day-to-day operations.”
Five inflatable boats carrying individuals claiming to be from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria were picked up by Border Force, the Home Office said. Nine of the migrants managed to get to a beach in Kent however they were detained by police.
The 102 migrants intercepted on Friday, who included seven children are believed to be a new record for a single day, this follows after 90 people were picked up on Thursday.
Across the Channel, French authorities have also detained “around 30 people”.
On Friday, Border Force dealt with six incidents after being alerted to small boats that were headed towards the UK.
- At around 1am, a Border Force vessel intercepted an inflatable boat which was carrying a group of 32 people – 26 men and six women – who presented themselves as Iranian and Iraqi nationals.
- At 2.45am, a small boat was intercepted which was carrying a group of 13 people – 12 men and one woman – who presented themselves as Iranian and Afghan nationals.
- At around 3.55am, a Border Force vessel picked up a boat carrying a group of 15 people – 14 men and one woman – who presented themselves as Iranian nationals.
- At around 8am, Kent Police detained a group of nine people – eight men and one woman- at Sandgate Beach who presented themselves as Iranian nationals.
- At 10am, a Border Force vessel intercepted a boat with 10 men aboard who presented themselves as Iranian, Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi nationals.
- At around 10.45am, a group of 23 people – 16 men and seven women – were found on a boat who presented themselves as Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian nationals.
Home Office director Tony Eastaugh said: “We have extra patrols on French beaches, drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment which has been deployed to stop small boats leaving European shores.
“And it’s working. Last year one hundred people smugglers were convicted for a total of 320 years.”
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement: “HM Coastguard is co-ordinating a search and rescue response to a number of incidents off Kent this morning, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners.
“Border Force vessels Searcher, Speedwell and Alert have been sent, along with RNLI lifeboats from Dover and Littleston, a fixed wing aircraft and an HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lydd.
“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.”
The government has previously described the surge in migrant crossings as a “major incident”.
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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.