Anonymous sailors onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth during naming ceremony 040714 CREDIT MOD
Navy

Chancellor Won't Rule Out Using Navy For Migrant Patrols

After a week which has seen record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel, the Chancellor declined to deny reports the Navy could be used.

Anonymous sailors onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth during naming ceremony 040714 CREDIT MOD

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has declined to rule out using the Royal Navy to patrol for migrants crossing the English Channel.

The single-day record for migrant crossings was set twice in the space of a week, with speculation the Navy could be drafted in to patrol the busy shipping lane.

At least 235 migrants, in 17 vessels, made the dangerous journey on Thursday, taking advantage of the calmer water and warm weather conditions.

The new record came just a week after it was previously set, with 202 people crossing to the UK on 30 July.

Rishi Sunak said: "I think people are absolutely right to be frustrated at the scenes they’re seeing.

"I’m frustrated, everyone is, which is why we’ve been working much more closely with the French government in recent times to improve our co-operation and intelligence-sharing to police crossings."

Asked about reports that the Navy could be tasked, Mr Sunak said: "I wouldn’t want to speculate on exactly what measures will be put in place.

"We all want to see these crossings reduced and, pending the outcomes of those conversations, we can decide on the best next steps to take," he added.

The migrants who made the journey across the Channel said they were of a range of nationalities, including: Yemeni, Palestinian, Eritrean, Chadian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Iranian, Indian, and Malian.

On Friday Border Force officials escorted a young family ashore at Dover, Kent, after the body's vessels Seeker and Speedwell were both active in the Channel.

Cover image: MOD.