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UK and France say they will ‘completely cut’ route across Channel for migrants

British and French officials have agreed to make the route across the English Channel ‘unviable’ in the coming days.

Immigration minister Chris Philp met with the French Government for talks in Paris today on tackling the issue of migrant crossings, which have surged during the heatwave.

He told Sky News France and the UK are working at ‘completely cutting’ the route migrants were taking across the English Channel in small boats.

Mr Philp said there is an ‘unshakeable shared commitment’ towards solving this, adding: ‘We are going to be working at pace in the coming days to make that plan a reality.’




Newly appointed clandestine channel threat commander, Dan O’Mahoney, joined the minister for the talks and will be returning to France early next week to continue the discussions.

‘I’m also delighted that the French made a commitment to appoint their own commander to take responsibility in this area which is a very important step forward,’ Mr Philp said.

‘French authorities are doing a great deal of work. They’ve intercepted well over a thousand people so far this year.

‘But the sheer numbers crossing the Channel are completely unacceptable to the French government and unacceptable to the UK Government so it’s quite clear that more needs to be done.

Migrants in a boat crossing the English Channel
Migrants arrive in the UK aboard a Border Force vessel after being intercepted while crossing the English Channel from France in small boats earlier today (Picture: Getty Images)
Migrants crossing the English Channel today
At least 597 migrants arrived in the UK between Thursday last week and Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

‘And that is exactly what this new, comprehensive action plan that we are working on will aim to do.

‘And if we can make this route unviable – which we are determined to do – then migrants will have no reason at all to come to France in the first place.’

He said he would not comment on details of the plan to halt Channel migrants but claimed there were a ‘number of measures, some of them new, which are under discussion’.

He said it would be ‘premature’ to talk about financial commitments at this stage because the plans were still being developed and finalised.

‘Any border is a shared responsibility and the United Kingdom and France today renewed and reaffirmed their absolute commitment to make sure this border is properly policed and this route is completely ended,’ he added.

More than 4,000 migrants have made it to the UK so far this year after completing the dangerous voyage across the world’s busiest shipping lane, with at least 597 arriving between Thursday last week and Sunday.

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