Ministry of Defence building
UK

MOD Asked To Support Border Force In Dover Straits

A formal request from the Home Office follows recent attempts from migrants to enter the UK.

Ministry of Defence building

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) says it has received a formal request from the Home Office to support UK Border Force in the Dover Straits, where migrants have been attempting to enter the UK.

In a statement, the MOD said: "We are assessing the requirement using the formal Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities (MACA) process and are working hard to identify how we can most effectively assist."

The department added it would do "all it can to support" Government requirements.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently 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.

Over 200 migrants made the dangerous journey on both Thursday, and 30 July.

Many are using small boats, taking advantage of the calmer water and warm weather conditions. Home Secretary Priti Patel had vowed to make the route used by asylum seekers "unviable" but conceded there are "legislative, legal and operational barriers" to stopping the boats.

However, ministers were warned of potentially fatal capsizings and legal challenges after it emerged they were considering blocking boats in the Channel before they enter British waters.

Former Royal Navy officer Rear Admiral Chris Parry said "innovative solutions" like using unemployed passenger liners to re-route migrants are needed.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "We don’t have to take them back to dry land.

"There’s any number of unemployed passenger liners on the south coast at the moment, they could actually be taken there for processing for medical assessment and then onward routing either back to France or to the United Kingdom."

Cover image: Ministry of Defence building (Picture: PA).