UK migrant crisis: Border Force intercepts 20 migrants on flimsy dinghy off Dover coast | UK | News (Reports)

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Those on board the boat were pictured waving and smiling as the vessel made its way across the English Channel on Monday morning. The migrants were met by the Border Force patrol boat Hunter at about 7.15am. It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel put in a formal request to the Ministry of Defence for help blocking migrants from crossing the Channel.

Ms Patel’s renewed efforts to prevent the dangerous crossings comes after more than 677 people made it to the UK in a surge of crossings between Thursday and Sunday. 

More than 4,000 migrants have crossed the Dover Strait this year.

At least 65 migrants made it to the UK on board four boats on Sunday, the Home Office said. 

Pictures from this morning show a small inflatable boat jam-packed full of people wearing orange life jackets. 

At least one woman was among their number.

One migrant could be seen bailing out water with a plastic container from the boat, which sat low in the water, while another was spotted smoking a cigarette.

When asked how they were, many of the migrants put their thumbs up and replied that they were OK, according to PA news agency. 

The boat was met by Border Force as they neared Dover.

They are expected to be taken ashore later today. 

The journey can be dangerous in the best of weather, but seas early on Monday were choppy.

Ms Patel has appointed a former royal marine as her “clandestine Channel threat commander” in a bid to clamp down on the illegal crossings.

Royal navy warships could be sent to block the migrant crossings, despite warnings many could drown.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Care Minister Helen Whately defended the Government’s plans to involve the Navy in preventing the crossings.

She said: “We need to bring this to an end.

“The Home Secretary’s determined that this will not be a viable route to the UK and my colleague, Home Office Minister Chris Philp, is going to be in Paris later this week to talk directly with the French government about working together to stop this transit.”

More to follow…

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