Bon voyage! French patrol vessel ‘escorts migrant boat’ as it floats into UK waters towards Dover before being picked up by Border Force – as numbers of asylum seekers arriving across Channel nears 20,000
- The people are believed to be travelling from the coast of France to Dover, Kent
A French patrol vessel ‘escorted a migrant boat’ as it floated into UK water towards Dover today, as the number of asylum seekers who have arrived across the Channel this year nears 20,000.
Crossings resumed on Tuesday, with pictures showing a dinghy packed with men and boys, some without lifejackets, perched on the sides while their legs dangled in the water.
According to witnesses, a nearby French patrol vessel appeared to be escorting and monitoring the boat as it floated into UK waters towards Dover before it was met by Border Force and later taken ashore at the Kent port.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the number of migrant arrivals was lower than last year and this showed his plan to ‘stop the boats’ was ‘working’.
Provisional Home Office data shows that in 2023 so far 19,801 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel.
A group of people thought to be migrants are escorted by a French patrol vessel as they cross the Channel in a small boat travelling from the coast of France
The people were believed to have been travelling from the coast of France, heading in the direction of Dover, Kent
The supposed arrival comes after it was revealed migrants who land in the UK in small boats could be forced to wear electronic tags under Home Office proposals
This is 21 per cent down on this time last year when more than 25,000 people had already made the journey, analysis of Government figures shows.
The pace and volume of crossings slowed over the bank holiday weekend, with just 60 people detected making the journey in one boat on Sunday and no crossings recorded on Saturday or Monday, according to revised Home Office figures.
Pictures showed people believed to be migrants sitting aboard a dinghy, which was ‘escorted’ by a French patrol vessel. The boat was then met by Border Force and migrants were taken ashore.
The supposed arrival comes after it was revealed migrants who land in the UK in small boats could be forced to wear electronic tags under Home Office proposals.
UK charity Refugee Council criticised the plan, claiming it would result in vulnerable people in search of safety being ‘treated as mere objects’.
READ MORE: Migrants arriving into UK across the English Channel could be forced to wear electronic tags under new ‘stop the boats’ proposals
A total of 175,457 people were waiting for an initial decision on an asylum application in the UK at the end of June 2023, up 44 per cent from 122,213 at the end of June 2022. This was the highest figure since current records began in 2010.
Figures also show the number of asylum seekers waiting more than six months for an initial decision stood at 139,961 at the end of June, up 57 per cent year on year from 89,231 and another record.
The idea to tag migrants, first mooted more than a year ago, has resurfaced as Rishi Sunak attempts to get a handle on immigration and stop people illegally gaining entry to the UK.
The migrants would be GPS tracked in real time and required to report via text message or in person to immigration officers multiple times a day, the Telegraph reported.
Border Force officials are pictured helping people thought to be migrants ashore in Dover, Kent, today
A group of people thought to be migrants are rescued by Border Force vessel Defender as they cross the Channel in a small boat
Border Force escorted the migrants ashore after they were pictured traveling across the Channel towards the UK
UK charity Refugee Council criticised the plan to tag migrants, claiming it would result in vulnerable people in search of safety being ‘treated as mere objects’
Any attempt to remove the tag and abscond would result in any right to bail or to remain in the UK being automatically withdrawn.
A source told The Telegraph : ‘Tagging is being discussed as an option.’
Refugee Council Chief executive Enver Solomon told The Independent: ‘It’s treating people as mere objects rather than vulnerable men, women and children in search of safety who should always be treated with compassion and humanity, in the same way we welcomed Ukrainian refugees.
‘This is not who we are as a country nor the Britain we aspire to be.’
Refugee Gulwali Passarlay, who fled Afghanistan, also told the paper that his friend has been made to wear a tag since arriving in the UK as a refugee and that it has impacted his mental health.
He said: ‘How would normal people feel if they were electronically tagged just for being who they are? We’re surveilling the most vulnerable people in our society.’
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