Boris Johnson urges France to 'stiffen their sinews' to stop migrant crossings

6 September 2021, 23:29 | Updated: 6 September 2021, 23:57

Migrants continue to attempt to cross the Channel.
Migrants continue to attempt to cross the Channel. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged France to 'stiffen their sinews' in response to a growing number of migrant crossings.

It came as Conservative MP Jacob Young mentioned in the Commons on Monday that the ongoing migrants crisis across the Channel was putting a strain on Afghans getting safe passage to the UK.

Mr Johnson acknowledged the difficulty the government faced with preventing the latest wave of crossings from taking place.

"My honourable friend is completely right and, of course, the issue is that very sadly I think our friends across the Channel in France are faced with a very difficult problem," he said.

"A large number of people want to come to this country, and we are doing everything we can to encourage the French to do the necessary and impede their passage.

"But I know the Home Secretary is working right around the clock to ensure that we not only encourage the French to stiffen their sinews and stop people making the journey, but we use every possible tactic available to us as well."

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It comes as witness reports suggested at least 1,000 migrants had attempted to cross the UK channel on Monday, according to Sky News.

It was thought to be the highest daily number since 21 August.

Dan O'Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: "This unacceptable rise in dangerous crossings is being driven by criminal gangs and a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

"We’re determined to target the criminals at every level, so far, we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts.

"But there is more to do. The Government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, breaking the business model of criminal gangs and welcoming people through safe and legal routes."

The Home Office warned that the estimated figures had not been confirmed and that boats would go through checks before accurate details were announced.