12 more migrants cross English Channel to Britain

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
LONDON
Published 31.12.2018 19:39
Updated 31.12.2018 23:14
Britain's Border Force carry an intercepted migrant dinghy off the Kent coast, Britain Dec. 31, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. (Twitter/Susan Pilcher via Reuters)
Britain's Border Force carry an intercepted migrant dinghy off the Kent coast, Britain Dec. 31, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. (Twitter/Susan Pilcher via Reuters)

A group of 12 migrants, including a 10-year-old child, arrived in Britain on Monday after crossing the English Channel from France, local media reported as the debate intensified around a recent spike in the number of migrants crossing the channel.

The migrants arrived on a beach in the county of Kent in a black dinghy on Monday morning, Britain's Press Association reported, citing the Home Office.

The British government said later Monday it is redeploying two boats from abroad to patrol the English Channel,

"I have taken the decision to redeploy two Border Force vessels - known as cutters - which are currently based abroad to the U.K.," Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement on Monday following a government meeting on the issue.

According to the BBC, more than 220 have tried to cross the channel in small boats since the start of November.

Javid has called it a "major incident."

In an article for The Daily Telegraph on Sunday, he said Britain and France would strengthen their cooperation on the issue, but the reasons behind the increase in channel crossings were "complicated" and in many cases outside of the government's control.

Also on Sunday, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted a picture of himself speaking on the telephone, writing that he was working with Javid "to prevent Channel crossings from certain irregular migrants in small vessels at risk to their own lives."

Javid responded by thanking France for its partnership. "U.K. and France will build on our joint efforts to deter illegal migration — protecting our borders and human life," he said.

On Monday, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott accused the government of trying to stir up the debate around migration ahead of January's planned Brexit vote in parliament.

"People are being whipped up about migration issues because the government thinks this is the best way of frightening people to vote for their deal," she said in comments carried by The Guardian.

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