Author: REBECCA PERRING
UK ‘FORCES’ migrants to cross the Channel says expert
Mr Javid is said to have pencilled in talks with Mr Castaner for next week, in the hope migrants will be deterred from making the crossing if they know they will be returned to France.
A Home Office source told the Daily Telegraph sending migrants back to France was a “key area of discussion” with the French.
The source said: “We are getting close to an agreement with them.
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“It would act as a deterrent if they knew that if they chose this route, the British would return them to France.”
So far 239 migrants have arrived in the UK by boat since November.
A Royal Navy vessel was deployed to patrol the Straits of Dover amid concern about refugees crossing the English Channel.
Sending HMS Mersey to patrol the Channel marks a significant escalation of the response to the migration issue after Mr Javid earlier this week announced the redeployment of two Border Force cutters from the Mediterranean.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I can confirm that HMS Mersey will deploy to the Dover Straits to assist the UK Border Force and French authorities with their response to migrant crossings.
“The professionalism of the Royal Navy means the crew have been able to immediately divert from routine operations to help prevent migrants from making the dangerous journey across the Channel.”
Mr Javid said: “My focus continues to be on protecting the UK border and preventing loss of life in the Channel.
“For these reasons, the Government has decided to deploy a navy vessel, HMS Mersey, to support our existing efforts.
“This will be an interim measure while the two Border Force cutters I have redeployed from abroad make their way back to UK waters.
“It is vital that we are working on all fronts to tackle this ongoing situation and I am grateful to Border Force and other agencies for the tireless work they have done in response to this activity.”
Mr Javid has come under fire after he urged migrants not to make the trip and controversially suggested many are not genuine refugees.
He said: “You are coming from France, which is a safe country.
“In almost every case you are claiming asylum in the UK but if you were a real, genuine asylum seeker you could have done that in another safe country.”