Let migrants claim UK asylum in France to stop Channel crossings, charity says

12 September 2019, 10:17

Tents near Calais, France where migrants seeking to get to the UK have set up camps again after being raided by French police.
Tents near Calais, France where migrants seeking to get to the UK have set up camps again after being raided by French police. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

Allowing migrants to claim asylum for the UK from France would stop the surge in dangerous Channel crossings, according to charity, Care4Calais.

Care4Calais thinks UK officials should set up a kiosk on the continent to process asylum applications in order to reduce the number of people trying to cross the water in small boats.

Founder Clare Moseley said: “They [migrants] should be able to claim asylum [for the UK] while they are in France.

“Providing a safe legal route is the only way. Increasing security is a bigger risk. More security means more people get hurt and more people die."

“Boris Johnson’s comments calling these people illegal immigrants were inaccurate. They are asylum seekers. They are trying to get a legal claim heard.

“If there was a safe and legal way they would choose it.Many have family ties in the UK or can speak some English as opposed to French.

“The Government keeps saying it wants to shut the people smugglers down. That [processing applications] would do it.”

Border Force vessel Speedwell arrives at the Port of Dover after small boats containing suspected migrant were intercepted in the Channel.
Border Force vessel Speedwell arrives at the Port of Dover after small boats containing suspected migrant were intercepted in the Channel. Picture: PA

Some 21 migrants were picked up by UK authorities on Wednesday, the Home Office said.

One man was airlifted to hospital from a dinghy which was carrying 13 people, including three children. A second vessel carrying eight men was intercepted and taken to Dover.

On Tuesday 86 men, women and children crossed – thought to be the most intercepted by UK authorities alone on a single day so far.

The migrants -- including women and children -- were detained in five separate incidents, according to Britain's interior ministry.

Some had made it ashore from small boats while others were still at sea when they were intercepted by the border force.

Care4Calais charity with donations ready to hand out to migrants in France, where they have set up camps again after being raided by French police.
Care4Calais charity with donations ready to hand out to migrants in France, where they have set up camps again after being raided by French police. Picture: PA

French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont said migrants were wrongly being told "the crossing will close" after Brexit.

He blamed "fake news" about the UK's departure from the EU and said "security measures" alone would not stop the rise in crossings.

Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel said urgent action was needed to put a stop to the wave of crossings, after she met French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner in Paris.

They agreed "to deploy more resources along the French coast to intercept and stop crossings," her department said.

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