The £20,000 per day cost of using the Offshore Patrol Vessel to monitor the English Channel will be reclaimed from the Home Office.
Nia Griffith, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, asked in a Parliamentary written question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what cost has been incurred to the public purse by the deployment of HMS Mersey to assist UK Border Force in the English channel.”
Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, answered:
“The Secretary of State for Defence deployed HMS Mersey to the English Channel in response to a formal Military Aid to the Civil Authority (MACA) request from the Home Secretary. The deployment of HMS Mersey was requested to fill a gap in Border Force capability whilst one of their vessels is returned from the Aegean. The per day cost is in the region of £20,000 which includes the full crew and items such as maintenance, fuel and other costs incurred as a result of conducting this activity.
As is usual with MACA requests, these costs will be reclaimed from the Home Office in accordance with Her Majesty’s Treasury Rules as stated in ‘Managing Public Money’. This directs that Government Departments must charge for services that do not form part of their funded tasks.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said about the deployment:
“My focus continues to be on protecting the UK border and preventing loss of life in the Channel. For these reasons, the government has decided to deploy a navy vessel, HMS Mersey, to support our existing efforts.
This will be an interim measure while the two Border Force cutters I have redeployed from abroad make their way back to UK waters. It is vital that we are working on all fronts to tackle this ongoing situation and I am grateful to Border Force and other agencies for the tireless work they have done in response to this activity.”