A record 92 migrants trying to get to Britain were seized by Border Force officers yesterday amid claims smugglers are telling them they will not be able to cross the Channel after Brexit.
The staggering haul – made up of people from eight different countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Vietnam, Ethiopia and the Philippines – crossed the Channel in seven small boats throughout the day.
And on Tuesday night the French authorities picked up in a migrant in a small kayak trying to cross the Channel and released a photograph of the man.
Two migrants have already died this year making the dangerous crossing – but there are now fresh fears ‘many more’ migrants will die.
At Greatstone beach, in Littlestone, Kent, the Border Force detained 19 people who managed to land after crossing the Channel (pictured)
Holiday park worker Stewart Ide spotted the ‘refugees’ landing at the beach just before 11am yesterday (pictured)
Now a French politician has said migrants are wrongly being told ‘the crossing will close’ after Brexit – leading to a massive increase in numbers.
Conservative MP for Calais Pierre-Henri Dumont blamed ‘fake news’ about the UK’s departure from the EU and said ‘security measures’ alone would not stop the rise in crossings.
Mnsr Dumont, Conservative MP for Calais, told BBC South East Today: ‘Smugglers say to migrants, ‘If the UK leaves the EU, you will not ever be able to cross the Channel’.
‘It’s a lie, because it won’t change anything. Smugglers are giving fake news to migrants, but it’s for them to earn money.’
On Tuesday night the French authorities picked up in a migrant in a small kayak trying to cross the Channel and released this photograph
He said the UK’s asylum system should be changed to allow migrants to apply at British embassies in Europe.
He said French police could ‘not do more’ to stop boat crossings, adding: ‘We need to understand that we cannot monitor 400 or 500km of coast.’
Mr Dumont, said that many migrants had travelled thousands of miles. He added: ‘Now everyday they can see the English coast here in Calais.
‘Do you really think controls, police forces, cameras, walls, will stop them from trying to cross? No, never.’
The migrant who tried to cross in a kayak at noon on Tuesday was around four miles north of Calais trying to make his way to the UK when picked up by the French authorities.
The migrants boat could be seen on its way to shore yesterday in Littlestone in Kent and was filmed by holiday park worker Stewart Ide
The group could be seen making their way to shore with their belongings at around noon yesterday
Boats and helicopters were sent to the scene and picked up the migrant at 6.30pm who was in a state of mild hypothermia.
The migrant was then taken back to the port of Dunkirk.
Yesterday Border Force ships intercepted four boats carrying migrants on the busiest day for incursions this year – but missed two others that landed on the south coast.
The 92 foreign men, women and children are being processed by Border Force officers at a makeshift centre in Dover, Kent, as officials struggle to deal with increased numbers of migrant incursions.
The total number of migrants who have made it across the Dover Strait – the world’s busiest shipping lane – has exceeded 1,000 already this year
At Greatstone beach, in Littlestone, Kent, the Border Force detained 19 people who managed to land after crossing the Channel.
Holiday park worker Stewart Ide spotted the ‘refugees’ landing at the beach just before 11am yesterday.
He rang police as he ran to meet the boat, which contained people who claimed they were Kurds coming from Iran, Iraq and Turkey.
Stewart said: ‘I was having my breakfast in my office which looks out onto the sea when I noticed a boat. I saw a dinghy and got my binoculars out to check I wasn’t dreaming.
‘I saw loads of immigrants in a small grey rubber dinghy. I couldn’t believe it, it looked liked something off a film. They were all dressed in black.
Two small boats with 11 migrants each travelled across the Channel towards the UK shoreline early on Tuesday
‘It was so surreal – I called the police as I ran down to the beach and found them freezing, scared and hungry. I hugged one man and said ‘welcome to England’.’
Police arrived within minutes and rounded up 14 of the 19 migrants.
As well as that thwarted beachhead landing, the Home Office said that the Border Force intercepted two vessels early in the morning, one carrying 11 people and the other with 12.
They claimed to be Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani and Filipino and were taken to Dover, Kent, to be medically assessed and interviewed by immigration officials.
A further nine people who landed on Pett Level Beach, near Winchelsea, East Sussex, were detained medically assessed and interviewed.
Around midday, a Border Force boat intercepted a vessel near Dungeness, Kent, and brought it back to Dover.
The two boats had nationals of Pakistan , Iran , Afghanistan , and the Philippines on board. The migrants are pictured on UK shores being helped by authorities
Of the 18 people on board, 14 presented themselves as Iranian, three Iraqi and one Vietnamese.
Also around midday, Border Force was alerted to another boat in the Channel which it picked up and transported to Dover.
There were 23 on board the boat, who identified as nationals of Iran and Ethiopia, bringing the total number of migrants to 92
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are working closely at all levels with the French authorities to tackle this dangerous and illegal activity.
‘Last month the Home Secretary and her French counterpart agreed to intensify joint action to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel.
Police and ambulance services are pictured at the scene. The individuals were taken to Dover, where they were medically assessed and found to be well, before being transferred to immigration officials for interview
‘This includes drawing up an enhanced action plan to deploy more resources along the French coast to intercept and stop crossings.’
The Home Office declared the matter a major incident under former home secretary Sajid Javid and pledged millions of pounds to tackle the crisis, dispatching the three Border Force cutters.
A plan drawn up in January included a £6 million investment in security equipment, CCTV coverage of beaches and ports and a mutual commitment to return migrants under international and domestic laws, the department said.
But the number of migrants taken in by UK authorities so far this year is thought to have already passed 1,000.
Retired coastguard Andy Roberts has slammed the authorities and said more deaths will soon happen.
A gym in Dunkirk housing up to 1000 migrants (pictured) is expected to close which could raise migrant numbers even further
Mr Roberts said: ‘They are now just coming over in their droves. It’s incredible.
‘It’s very shocking. The measures they have to stop the migrants arriving is clearly not enough. It’s nowhere near enough.
‘The French authorities are saying they have to monitor 400 or 500km of coast. But they don’t. These crossings are happening between Calais and Dunkirk. That’s where they need to monitor.
‘Something has got to be done about this. Something has got to give. I fear it will take a real tragedy before they are stopped.
‘It’s just increasing. There will be more and more deaths.
‘We’re now officially in autumn and conditions are going to be worse. The wind will be stronger, it will be bitterly cold and the water will be much more unsettled.
‘It’ll be very difficult. And those conditions will hit as the number of crossings is actually increasing. There’s going to be a big disaster.’
Mr Roberts said the number of crossings will continue.
He added: ‘They are all having success so they are bound to keep coming over.’
These figures arrive off the back of an announcement that a gym in Dunkirk where up to 1000 migrants are living is expected to close.
The closure of the gym-cum-shelter could prompt a spike in Channel crossings, refugee charity Care4Calais has said.
Care4Calais founder Clare Moseley said that many of those living at the Espace Jeunes du Moulin gym are families with young children, some of whom have fled the Islamic State conflict in Iraq.
She said: ‘There has been a bit of uncertainty as to when it’s going ahead.
‘The latest we have heard is it’s likely to be Thursday. We think the Calais one is probably going to be tomorrow.’
Mrs Moseley said the French government will offer evicted migrants alternative accommodation, but predicts a significant number will return to the coast based on previous instances.
‘The problem is that they will go back to sleeping rough and that means forests and the wasteland. These are families, some of them have young children.
‘All these people want is for their asylum claims to be heard. If there was a safe and legal way for this to happen they wouldn’t be getting on boats and lorries.’
There are between 600 and 1,000 people estimated to be living at the gym in the Grande-Synthe area of Dunkirk.
It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel said urgent action was needed to put a stop to the wave of crossings, after she met French interior minister Christophe Castaner in Paris last month.
Nearly 40,000 failed asylum seekers are still in the UK as the numbers being removed drop by half in four years
by Terri-Ann Williams
Close to 40,000 failed asylum seekers are still residing in the UK despite being targeted for removal, as numbers of those being relocated are revealed to have dropped by half in four years.
Official figures released by the Home Office have been branded a ‘disgrace’ by Tory MP Philip Hollobone, after the government had previously come under fire for its ‘hostile environment’ towards migrants.
The UK’s policy on immigration has been fiercely criticised after the Windrush scandal which unfairly forced families of West Indian migrants to leave.
It has now been acknowledged that many failed asylum seekers across the UK will never leave and in doing so, will form a right to stay.
Above is a scene of the Dover Border Force stopping a small dinghy carrying migrants across the English channel
The group of people were taken ashore after being found trying to cross the Channel in three boats on August 27
Figures show that the number of unsuccessful applicants branded ‘subject to removal action’ rose 39,932 in the year to June, up from 34,752.
These latest figures come as nearly 150 migrants were found trying to cross the Channel into the UK over the last week.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned illegal migrants that they would be sent back if they risked crossing the Channel.
This is while the number of rejected applicants has actually fallen, and according to The Times, only 3,471 left the country in the year to June, down 27 per cent from 4,819 the previous year.
Conservative MP for Kettering, Mr Hollobone said: ‘These asylum figures are a national disgrace. The number of failed asylum seekers awaiting removal is going up while the number of removals is going down. The longer these people stay in this country illegally, the greater the chance they never, ever leave. The new home secretary needs to get a grip on this immediately.’
A group of people brought to shore by Border Force officers at the Port of Dover this morning
This year more than 850 migrants have crossed the Channel, but the Home Office has claimed that more than 65 of those found had returned to Europe.
This is while home secretary Priti Patel gave her department just 72 hours to conjure an emergency plan to tackle the issue.
Ms Patel has since been in contact with the French interior minister Christophe Castaner, with sources claiming we need French support.
‘The focus will be on practical support to assist French patrols to deter migrants from embarking upon these perilous crossings organised by criminal gangs.’
The 40,000 which are subject to removal can also make further submissions in their cases such as last minute legal challenges.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, can be seen above during a visit to the Port of Dover to meet with officials to discuss how to ensure the UK’s smooth exit from the EU. Miss Patel has given the Home Office a 72 hour ultimatum to come up with an emergency plan to tackle the English Channel’s migrant crisis
Former director general of immigration enforcement at the Home Office, David Wood said: ‘In reality the longer they stay the more difficult it is to remove them as they get married, have children and build roots in the UK. They then can make further claims to stay on the basis of the right to family life.
‘The normal rule we worked on was once immigrants had been here for ten years you could not remove them and they would successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain. You will not find anything written down but that was generally the reality.
‘The number of removals has fallen off a cliff. Resources for immigration enforcement have dwindled and you would need a lot more cash and manpower to be able to boost the numbers.’