Border Force union chief says French frequently escort migrants to UK waters

21 July 2021, 07:29

Ex-Border Force on migrants at sea

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

'It is not infrequent' the French Navy escort migrant boats to British waters, a Border Force union chief has told LBC.

With the news more migrants have crossed the English Channel this year than in the whole of 2020 it was also revealed a £54million deal was agreed to patrol French beaches.

On Tuesday a French warship appeared to escort around 13 migrants crammed into a dinghy into English waters while a baffled ITV film crew was left to monitor the vessel, The Sun reported.

Nick Ferrari quizzed Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the ISU, which represents 4,500 of the Home Office’s 10,000 immigration officers, over the issue.

Nick asked the former Border Force officer if this was a daily occurrence.

"It does happen, it's not quite daily, but it certainly is not infrequent."

Explaining the rules of the sea and maritime law the immigration expert explained why French vessels were spotted seeming to escort migrants to UK waters.

The UK has agreed to hand provide £54 million to fund the extra policing between Boulogne and Dunkirk, and expanding the patrols further along the coast to the port of Dieppe.

On Tuesday a film crew from Good Morning Britain alerted the coastguard to a boat full of migrants before a Border Force jet ski met the dinghy in the Channel.

GMB journalist Pip Tomson said they agreed to "observe" the migrants as UK officials were so busy dealing with other incidents.

But Border Force were "nowhere to be seen" when another dinghy of 12 migrants was spotted, she said.

Yesterday, we reported a record 430 migrants made the journey across the English Channel to the UK on Monday, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel's vow to make the Channel crossings "unviable".

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