Iranians found on English beach as Channel crossings mount

01 January, 2019, 05:57 | Author: Angel Logan
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Yesterday six Iranian men were pictured on Kingsdown Beach after making the crossing.

A witness who works at the Zetland Arms pub, which overlooks the beach, said they saw authorities leading a small group of men from the shore to a Ford Transit van at around 9.30am.

The issue of increasing numbers of migrants trying to cross the Channel in small boats to reach the United Kingdom has "no easy answers", the Home Secretary says.

Mr Javid also held a "significant and productive" phone call with French interior minister Christophe Castaner on Sunday to agree moves to deter further small boat crossings, during which they confirmed plans to have a face-to-face meeting in January.

But he was it was "vital we strike a balance between protecting them and protecting our borders" after he was urged to deploy more Border Force Cutters.

Meanwhile, ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage said Javid could become the next prime minister if he followed the lead of former Australian PM Tony Abbott to "make it crystal clear that any individual who crosses the Channel by dinghy and illegally enters British waters will not be allowed to stay in our country".

Following calls from some MPs for the Government to bring in the Navy to help with the crisis due to the lack of Cutter ships available, defence secretary Gavin Williamson said the armed forces were ready and willing to help.

Officers attended to assist Border Force officials who are dealing with the case.

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'Deeply concerning': Why the rise in migrants crossing the English Channel?

Speaking to Tom Watson on LBC, Labour MP and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper said that Mr Javid will face questions from the committee on the incident.

Compared to other influxes of migrants and refugees, the numbers trying to cross the Channel recently are tiny.

Mr Javid has appointed a "gold commander" to take overall charge of the situation and make strategic decisions about the response.

She said: "It is feasible that were we to put additional craft (out) they might act as a magnet - encouraging people to make a perilous crossing".

Since November, more than 220 people have attempted the journey.

In a tweet responding to reports of child refugees among those arriving in the United Kingdom on small boats, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We have a duty to reach out the hand of humanity, support and friendship to people who are in danger and seeking a place of safety".

"They are around and about in the camps, they are in the cafes in Calais".

Chris Matcham, who watched the events unfold, said: "I was driving towards New Romney this morning with my sister when a police auto came haring past us along the road".

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