As over 400 immigrants landed on south coast beaches on Monday, July 19, Damien Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, spoke in the House of Commons in support of the government’s new Nationality and Borders Bill.
He said: “For local residents living along the coast from Folkestone to Dungeness, it has become a fact of life that when the weather is good, and the sea calm, hundreds of undocumented asylum seekers will attempt to cross the Channel in small boats. We cannot allow this to continue.”
The Home Office confirmed that over 430 migrants landed in just 14 small boats, with dozens of them, including women and young children, landing at Dungeness. It is believed to be the highest number of migrants to land on UK shores in any single day.
An RNLI lifeboat had been monitoring the approaching vessels and Border Force and Kent Police were in attendance as they landed.
Some people have called for migrant boats to be intercepted at sea, but the Royal Navy and UK Border Force cannot patrol French waters without permission, and when the vessels cross into UK waters, under international maritime law they have a right to land at the nearest available port.
Mr Collins added: “It is clear we need to change the law to deter people from making these crossings and make it clear that illegal entry to the UK is not a shortcut to residency in this country.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has this week agreed to pay France £54 million to stop migrants from reaching Britain. Beach patrols by French police will be doubled as the Home Secretary said: “The public are rightly angry, as this week’s arrivals brought the tally of migrants to have landed in Britain this year to 8,452, more than all of 2020.”
Image Credits: Rye News library .