Another 42 migrants intercepted by UK border patrol

Police have intercepted a total of 42 migrants on the weekend of 11 May 2019 as they crossed the English Channel to enter the UK illegally. The migrants were taken by border patrol and handed over to immigration authorities.

These migrants will likely be returned to France or other EU countries under the Dublin Regulation.

The migrants mostly identified as Iranian and Iraqi nationals, and were found on board three separate boats to the UK.

Under the Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers must apply for asylum in the first EU country they arrive in. If they do not, they risk being sent back. “It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach,” said the UK Home Office.

The Dublin regulation seeks to prevent unsafe migration across the European continent, and systematise the processing of asylum applications. Under the regulation, asylum seekers will not be able to choose the country in Europe that processes its claim, or the country they will be settled in if found eligible for international protection. The regulation also encourages migrants already on the move in Europe to seek asylum at the first instance possible.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke called for even stronger measures, along the French-UK border. He urged round-the-clock cross Channel aerial surveillance “so any migrants found can be helped safely back to France.”

Smugglers have also spread rumours that the French-UK border will shut after Brexit. A BBC undercover reporter posing as an Iranian migrant in December 2018 said he was told “the borders will shut properly” after the UK leaves the EU. “This jungle will be cleared. They will put everyone in jail,” he added.

However, the UK said it remains committed to maintaining strong relationships with France on border control. “Information shared between our two countries has contributed to a significant number of disruptions of maritime migration attempts from the French coastline. We remain strong partners, jointly committed to reducing the threat posed by maritime migration and organised crime.”

Since January 2019, over 25 people have been returned to France and other EU countries.

TMP – 25/05/2019

Photo credit: Joe Dunckley / Shutterstock

Photo caption: UK Border Force cutter HMC Valiant