Illegal migrant crossing from France to Britain are unacceptable so there needs to be action to prevent smugglers from exploiting people who risk the perilous journey across the Channel in small boats, a British junior minister said on Monday.
“We do have an unacceptable situation of many migrants coming across the Channel at the moment,” junior health minister Helen Whately told Sky News.
“We are taking action.”
On Sunday, Britain appointed a commander to lead its response to tackling illegal small boat crossings across the Channel, creating a new role after a spate of migrant arrivals on the southern English coast.
Interior minister Priti Patel named Dan O’Mahoney, a former Royal Marine, as Britain’s new Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, saying he would work with France to make the Channel route unviable for small boat crossings.
Taking advantage of a spell of hot weather and calm sea conditions, hundreds of people including children and pregnant women have made the dangerous 33-km crossing in recent days in small vessels.