Navy

UK Armed Forces to take charge of English channel small boat crossings

The Home Office had been in charge of operations to limit channel crossings but has struggled, with crossings tripling from 2020 to 2021.

The UK's Armed Forces are set to take charge of operations dealing with thousands of people crossing the English Channel in small boats.

The Times reported a Royal Navy admiral will take command within weeks, with civilian agencies, such as border force, continuing to deliver migration patrols.

The UK aims to both deter people from crossing in migrant boats but also ensure if they do, they’re detained when they reach the Kent Coast.

Until now, the Home Office has been in charge of operations to limit channel crossings but has struggled. In 2021, three times as many people made the crossing than in 2020.

However, the Chairman of the Commons Defence Committee has told Forces News he’s worried about mission creep - which could put extra pressure on the armed forces.

"I'm worried that we're going to see mission creep, that eventually the challenge will become so great that other assets, maritime surface fleet, will be called in to support as well," Tobias Ellwood MP said.

"That's not what our Navy is for."