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The Border Force and Royal Navy are expected jointly to patrol the channel amid fears more migrants will try and use the route to enter Britain.

It has been reported that the government plans to increase collaboration between the UK Border Force and the Royal Navy in order to strengthen defences against migrants crossing illegally by sea into the UK. This seems due to the fact that the Border Force only has three vessels operating at any one time in the seas off Britain,

Bernard Barron, president of the Calais coastguard, warned media last month that the Channel risks seeing the same scenes of tragedy as the Mediterranean as migrants are taking increasingly desperate risks to get on to British shores.

This follows news that some Albanians had to be rescued by RNLI Lifeboat crews off the coast of Dungeness when their boat started to sink. It is understood that two British citizens have been charged with immigration offences and are due to appear.

In February, five Iranian migrants rescued from the English Channel with hypothermia after trying to reach UK from France during 60mph gale.

At the time, it was only the second or third time in ten years that someone had tried to attempt such a crossing, said head of a local police union, Gilles Debove. The frequency is now starting to increase.

French police said crossing the Channel is very dangerous because of the large number of ships in the waterway, the BBC reported.

53 COMMENTS

      • I actually agree with Sean, gun them down. You can’t deny it wouldn’t solve the issue. Statistically if it stops them from coming it would save more lives. We’re talking about people that are illegally entering another nation and are henceforth abusing the rights of all citizens in said nation, we’re talking about people that place sticks on roads to slow down traffic and endanger the public. It’s time to go to extreme levels to reverse the damage that has been done by rescuing them.

    • Honestly, everyday we see in the news X number of migrants saved off the sea and brought to Europe… really? This is not saving, this is encouraging millions to risk their lives in the sea and it is aid to illegal migration paid by the tax payer… if this is what the RN is going to do in the Med.. .then it is just an irresponsible and illegal waste of money.

    • Hello UKDJ … I am a economic migrant in the UK. And illegal means that if a person like me, enters the UK without showing my passport… well…. probably something bad will happen? don’t you think? … I don’t understand why this people is allowed to get in a boat and just come, when millions of people every year have to show their ID and Visas in the airports?

      I don’t understand this, and millions of people, do not understand either… and it is utterly stupid and utterly unfair for the British people and for the other people who are already here, who all the sudden see their education and health services go worse and their rents going up because of all the people that are getting in.

      And I make a point: picking economic migrants from the water and bringing them to Britain amounts to aiding ILLEGAL immigration at the expense of my taxes.

  1. I agree with Adrian Bennett – this is a task that does not need state of the art vessels; it just needs vessels. Considering the number of patrol activities we undertake, not just in home waters, but in the Med and the pirate hotspots of Africa, a bigger fleet of River Class ships must be sensible, especially as they would be much cheaper than deploying Type 23 or 45 vessels.

  2. Perhaps when the new River class opvs come in to service, the old ones could be handed over to the Coastguard.

  3. Good but then what? Is this going to be a case of picking them up and taking them back to France or will they bring them here.
    The worst thing to do would be to bring them here as before you know it we will end up in the same situation as Greece as more will make the trip. A harsh stance needs to be made on this to stamp it out before it gets out of control.

    • Couldn’t agree more. But you can guarantee they will be helped on their journey here. And then they’ll all call home and tell their families and friends, resulting in even more making the journey. Just like the hand wringing fools who organised the Mediterranean operation did. Just encouraged the situation to get worse. If they’d just picked them up and taken them back to Libya the message would soon have been received and understood.

  4. This article (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/05/uk-plans-to-strengthen-defences-against-migrants-arriving-by-sea) talks about the border agency…

    “waiting for the arrival of a fleet of new 20-metre patrol vessels to strengthen operations in the seas off the UK against people smugglers, gun runners and drug gangs. The first of the vessels, which are designed to be more nimble than the cutters, is due to come into operation this summer, with the rest in use by the end of 2017.”

    I couldn’t find any reference to these anywhere else. Does anyone know if it’s true? If yes then how many are we getting and who is building them?

    For channel policing 20m boats seem far more appropriate than River class or even the 42m cutters that the border force currently employs. They don’t need too much endurance and 20m is quite enough for multi-day operations to include overnight patrols. In terms of sea keeping the brutal truth is that if sea conditions are too rough for an open-water designed 20m vessel to handle then a RIB or small pleasure craft is not going to make it across to our shores anyway and hopefully not try to launch at all so very heavy weather handling of these new vessels also doesn’t seem to me to be a big issue.

    • I understand from a BF source that these are second had 18 metre craft, currently deployed in the North Sea, whether with a private or government organisation I do not know.

  5. They may continue to risk their life in the hope of being picked up and taking the rest of the way, could end up being a bit counter productive if we start a similar op as in the med.

  6. So even if we patrol what do we do once we encounter them ? Bring them in or turn them back. If we bring them in surely that will just encourage others. If we turn them back do we use force ?

    • If they’re in RIBs then turning them back is pretty immoral due to the danger of them drowning but a border force vessel taking them back to point of origin would seem reasonable. Is that legal? Presumably we have to wait for them to be in UK waters before having the right to detain them at which point is it just like detaining someone airside at Heathrow/Gatwick/etc where people refused entry are (I think) shipped back to where they came from?

      How do international/territorial waters work in the channel? Is there a corridor of international water running down the middle with territorial water on each side or does out territorial water interface directly with those of France/Netherlands etc?

  7. G4S they probably would end up in the Shetland Islands or Outter Hebredies and end up off loading the migrants in Iceland

  8. Seriously shoul be returned to French Immigration authorities for repatriation if they are not asylum seekers but economic migrants

  9. You cannot blame these people for trying.. Many of these people come from desperate situations, sometimes corrupt war torn nations, no futures for themselves or there families. So i don’t blame them for having a go.. But of course there does have to be some control to the amount of people that come into our country. When it comes to the amount of patrol vessels we have, i think keeping the old River class vessels would be perfect, would give us a fleet of nine River class vessels i think? (one being in the Falklands).

  10. What? picking people from the water and bring them here? more aid to illegal migration? paid by our taxes ? and encouraging more millions to risk their lives and do the trip! Totally irresponsible!

  11. Why bother with border guards. Give it all over to the RN, those patrol boats they use for training would be a good and cheap vessels for the job. And we have a fair few of them.

  12. the big question is where will they take them when they pick them up. i suspect the UK, so that is going to encourage more to do the trip , knowing very well they will get picked up

  13. This is the catch 22 problem. We have to pick them up, or there is a high risk of them dying, which no one sane wants, but by doing so we are increasing the numbers that will try and so increasing the risks of death.

    Of course they will be taken on the UK, there is no real question about that, after all where else are they going to be taken, which country wants to take poor migrants that they don’t need to, since they are likely to drain their economy at least in the short term until they can find jobs. We can only hope that in the longer term, they will add to our economy and make us better for it.

  14. what should have been done is how Tawain Vietnam solve things they fix the boat give them some water and send them right back….the same should have been done when all this migrant crisis kicked off…the ships should have picked them up and took them straight back…because what sickened me about the migrant refugee crisis especially watching all the media coverage is the amount of young men of fighting age their were more of them than women children and the elderly….i am not against helping people and if it had been women children and the elderly then tempory refuge should have been given and once their country is sorted then they go back…but it was abused and EU leaders are to soft and gave in,just look at the state of Europe now with the attacks…because they did not know who was entering….and i don,t want the same for the UK and it,s citizens

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