More than 1,000 migrants cross Channel in TWO DAYS as French moan ‘not one euro’ has been paid to help tackle crisis

MORE than 1,000 migrants made the dangerous trip across the Channel in just two days.

After bad weather stopped all crossings for almost a fortnight, at least 40 boats managed to reach Britain across Friday and Saturday.



Among those to make the treacherous nine-hour journey was a newborn baby.

Rescuers brought the 16-day-old girl, named Ayyan and believed to be from Iraq, to safety on the shores of Kent wrapped in a blanket.

It comes as French minister, who claimed none of the £54 million it promised France to help tackle migrant crossings has been paid, urged the UK to keep its word.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said "not one euro has been paid", following his visit to Dunkirk on Saturday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently threatened to withhold the funding unless more people were stopped from reaching the UK.

Since the start of the year, more than 18,000 people have succeeded in reaching the British shores aboard small boats.

A flurry of crossing attempts on Friday saw 624 people reach the UK – the fourth highest daily tally on record during the current crisis.

Crossings continued on Saturday with at least 491 people, including children, arriving in Britain after making the perilous journey.

The figures were confirmed by the Home Office this morning, as Border Force officials were once again active in the Channel.

Thousands of people have continued to cross from France in 2021 despite the UK pledging to send millions of pounds to the French authorities to tackle the crisis.

"For now, not one euro has been paid," Mr Darmanin told the Associated Press on Saturday.

"We are asking the British to keep their promises of financing because we are holding the border for them."

He also called on the UK to take measures to reduce its "attractiveness" for migrants without residency papers, without elaborating.

Asked about Mr Darmanin's comments on Sunday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News: "Well, all I can say is that we have worked very effectively with the French government so far.

"We've had 300 arrests, we've worked with them to do that, there have been 65 convictions and we both accept that there are something like 13,500 crossings that have been prevented through our working together.

"So it is a good collaborative relationship and we obviously want to improve that."

'UNACCEPTABLE RISE'

Dan O'Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander for the Home Office, said: "The Government is determined to tackle the unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings using every tool at our disposal, at every stage in the journey.

"But this is a complicated issue requiring changes to our laws.

"The Government's New Plan for Immigration provides a long-term solution to fix the broken system and deliver the change required to tackle criminal gangs and prevent further loss of life."

Also on Sunday, a charity which observes migrants arriving in small boats across the Channel said the consequences of using controversial pushback tactics could be "horrific".

Kim Bryan, from Channel Rescue, said in the last two weeks her group had spotted, from the cliffs of Dover, Border Force officials practising a pushback using jet-skis.

"What they seem to be doing is pushing the boat from the stern and from the bow, and I guess the idea is they're going to push them back into French waters," Ms Bryan told BBC Breakfast on Sunday.

The shocking images of people crammed into flimsy boats, exploited by people smugglers, vile criminals, characterized by ruthlessness and greed who even threatened to drown small children just to line their pockets. This cannot continue.

It comes after footage this week appeared to show migrants cramming into tiny vessels as French security "stood by and watched".

Ms Patel said governments “should be able to consider every single option” when dealing with asylum seekers.

She pledged at this week's Tory conference to crackdown on the number of Channel crossings.

The MP said: "The shocking images of people crammed into flimsy boats, exploited by people smugglers, vile criminals, characterized by ruthlessness and greed who even threatened to drown small children just to line their pockets.

"This cannot continue, this is why we are going after the criminals behind this perilous trade of people smuggling."



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