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.”

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captain P Wash.

How are these costs calculated though ? Is It just Running Costs like fuel or Is it including Crew Costs ?

I know how they can reduce the Fuel Costs, Reduce the bloody Duty ! oh and If they spend £100 on food from Tesco’s, They’ll get another 5P off a litre. Plus Club card Points. “Every Little Helps” !!!!

Steve Taylor

In an episode of the Navy Lark Vice-Admiral Burwasher can’t decide if and when he refuels his car whether he should go for chunky tumblers or add to his collection of World Cup Winners’ medals. He had three Bobby Charltons and was desperate for a Bobby Moore.

Steve Taylor

I thought the cost of a River per day was about 10k? Why double?

captain P Wash.

They were going Twice as Fast ?????

Steve Taylor

Up hill probably too.


We need more O.P.V.s and border force cutters.

Steve Taylor

We are woefully ill equipped.

The German customs have some fantastic 1000 tonne SWATH vessels.

The Finns have over 80 20m+ patrol boats……..

The French actually patrol their shores….


That must be the only working piece of navel equipment the Germans have lol

captain P Wash.

Just looked Into It, Apparently It cost’s £10,000 per day to run the Ship but another £10,000 for the Hundreds of Home Office Staff’s Overtime and Administration Costs plus the Team Of on board Fact Finding Officials. A few H&S Executive Bods making sure No one Drowns or gets Injured whilst Climbing aboard, A specialist team of PC Do Gooders, A further Team Of LGBT and Questioning Investigators, 3 Housing Association Reps, 20 Remainers Bearing Gifts and A free NHS Room If Required. It Also includes Helicopter Flights To and from the Ship not to mention Accommodation and Expenses, Free… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Brilliant. Up to your usual standard!

captain P Wash.

Some would say It’s a very low Standard.

Daniele Mandelli

They have no sense of humour, are PC riddled, and lack the eyes to see that behind the sarcasm it is far too close to the truth, sadly.


Any one know why two border force cutters were deployed abroad??


Three were, and one still will be.

To fulfill commitments to the EU thingymajig.


Don’t forget the free copies of ‘I want a bigger Navy – Daily’ and ‘Big Gunz 4 Big Funz’ which seems to be the popular mags round here for all the Lord Admirals of the Sea on here!

Daniele Mandelli

Welcome Mdpepa.

captain P Wash.

Pull up a chair, We need more Humour here !


John, part of a joint European response to north African migrant problem, as many illegals ending up in channel ports heading for UK were coming through med routes from Libya and north Africa. If we hadn’t supported efforts the Italians, Spanish and French would not have been so cooperative with thier routes to UK. Mutaul back scratching.

Daniele Mandelli

At the end of the day the £20,000 cost is not important.

What is important is that the Rivers are doing something they should have been committed to doing years ago, and that MOD is not footing the bill.


£20k a day cost for effectively a ferry service, is just nuts, when essential services like the NHS or road repairs badly need the cash. What exactly are they doing to combat the issue, from what I can tell they are effectively making it worse as they pick up migrants that get into trouble and ferry them to the UK, this removing some of the risk involved in the crossing, which must have been a disincentive.

Daniele Mandelli

They are probably concerned at being sued.


Or potentially with obeying international maritime law. Regardless of whether you feel it encourages people to try cross in unsuitable vessels there is a legal obligation to rescue anyone in distress at sea.


It’s just the sheer cost. There must be cheaper ways of doing this, without using a military vessel. It’s all polictical optics and maximising on the current anti immigration feeling across the country, and nothing to do with actually trying to tackle the problem, which based on the numbers involved that illegally enter, seems kinda low.


Completely agree, the timing of when the politicians ramped up the rhetoric – amidst middle of Brexit chaos – suggests to me that the Tories wanted a distraction. Vastly more migrants illegal enter via things like the tunnel. But sending Navy to stem the ‘flood’ of boats makes for better optics I guess…

I do enjoy irony that post-Brexit Dublin Regulation no longer will apply to UK (on assumption of no deal) which means bye bye to first safe country principal so many people like to spout.

Mr Bell

I think our+£14 billion a year foreign aid budget should pay for these missions. The clue is in the name. They are adding foreigners indistress. Although they should be picked up tostop them drowning in the channel, they should then be held in a secure location and then extradite them back to whatever hell hole they come from. If they were refugees they would have applied for asylum in Italy, Spain, France, Austria or any other EU country the passed through to end up on the channel coastline. As they have not done so you can only deduce that they… Read more »