Channel migrants: ‘Record number’ of boats cross Channel

The UK Border Force is dealing with a number of boats that have crossed the English Channel carrying migrants.

HM Coastguard said it had assisted at 13 “incidents” off the Kent coast. Earlier, it was reported four boats with 30 people had been intercepted.

Eight men in an inflatable dinghy have also been seen on Winchelsea Beach, in East Sussex.

The Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, said it was “a record number of boats in a single day”.

He tweeted: “This crisis was meant to have been dealt with at Christmas, yet numbers continue to rise.

“It looks set to surge to record levels through the summer.

“The Home Office needs to get a grip on this crisis.”

The Marine and Coastguard Agency said RNLI lifeboats from Dover, Dungeness and Rye had been involved in the incidents, along with coastguard rescue teams from Folkestone, Langdon and Rye Bay.

Last month, 140 migrants were picked up – the highest number since December, when a “major incident” was declared.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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