Desperate migrants kiss British soil after making perilous trip across the Channel

8 September 2021, 10:47 | Updated: 8 September 2021, 16:17

By Sophie Barnett

A group of desperate migrants were seen praying and kissing British soil as they stepped onto the beach in Kent, having made the perilous journey across the Channel.

Dozens of migrants were seen getting on their hands and knees on the pebbled beach in Dungeness on Tuesday, relieved to be safely back on land after making the dangerous journey.

The group - mostly men and a couple of women - arrived on boats on Tuesday afternoon, where they were met by the RNLI and Border Force.

This is on top of 785 people who were either rescued or intercepted by British authorities on Monday.

Meanwhile, in France, authorities intercepted 14 crossings on the same day, stopping 378 people from reaching the UK - taking the total of attempted crossings on Monday to over 1,000.

Read more: France bans sale of inflatable boats from Channel ports in bid to stop migrant crossings

Read more: Man tells LBC he 'locks his shed' because he is worried about influx of migrants in Kent

It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to discuss the matter with her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin at the three-day G7 interior ministers' meeting in London on Wednesday.

The Times newspaper reported Patel blamed the French and said she was prepared to pull the funding promised less than two months ago if they failed to stop three in four crossings by the end of this month.

According to The Sun she said: “We’ve not given them a penny of the money so far and France is going to have to get its act together if it wants to see the cash.

“It’s payment by results and we’ve not seen those results. The money is conditional.”

It comes as a French politician said "nothing" can stop the crossings from France to Britain and it was "impossible" for police to patrol the entire shoreline.

Read more: More than 1000 migrants in small boats attempt Channel crossing in one day

Read more: Man tells LBC he 'locks his shed' because he is worried about influx of migrants in Kent

The group of migrants were seen kissing the beach and praying on the pebbles at Dungeness in Kent.
The group of migrants were seen kissing the beach and praying on the pebbles at Dungeness in Kent. Picture: PA

France has even been forced to ban the sale of inflatable dinghies from Channel towns in a bid to try to end a surge in migrant crossings.

As well as the move to ban the sale of boats, police patrols have also been increased around the French coast to prevent outboard motor thefts.

But the Sun reports people smugglers are getting round the ban by ordering boats online and having them delivered to safe houses.

The inflatables and kayaks are then taken to rendezvous points for migrants to use in crossing attempts.