Author: Holly Pyne
Neil Anderson, Executive Director of Migration Watch UK has said that reports of illegal migrants attempting to cross the Channel in dinghies are a “small front-end of a significant wedge”.
A further 23 migrants were intercepted by the Border Force in the English Channel on Sunday, bringing the weekend total for arrivals to almost 40.
Mr Anderson told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “In terms of immigration and illegal migration, a lot more needs to be done.
“It is very easy to concentrate on migrants coming over in dinghies and we are hearing about a few dozen being picked up but this is very simply a very small front-end of a significant wedge.”
A view of a Border Force patrol vessel ‘Hunter’ in Dover Marina, Kent. Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid was also criticised after announcing that the arrival of two cutters into the English Channel would not take place until “early February”, with most British patrol boats currently abroad.
Mr Anderson added that there had been no “political will” to invest in resources at the UK border.
“One thing we can say for certain is that there are serious resource issues with the border force,” he said.
“Basically there has to be the political will and willingness to invest in the appropriate resources in order to address this very serious problem.”
Patrol boat HMC Seeker is confirmed to be in port in Gibraltar, with the website Marine Traffic showing both HMC Protector to be alongside in Malta and HMC Valiant in port in Greece.
Mr Anderson also sugegsted that leaving the European Union will not help to reduce the number crossing the Channel.
He said: “I think it is very hopeful to think that the Government, which has failed quite abjectly to address this issue over many years – along with successive governments – is suddenly going to find the will and resources to actually address this problem properly.
“I don’t think Brexit will have much of an impact, I’m afraid.”