UK moves to turn away migrant boats
London, Sep 9 (EFE).- British home secretary Priti Patel has given the go-ahead for border authorities to turn back boats carrying migrants entering British waters in the English Channel.
The measure comes amid an increase in migrant boats that have managed to cross the Channel this summer. This week has seen a further spike due to the good weather, the BBC reported.
More than 1,500 migrants have crossed the English Channel in small boats this week, bringing the figure for the year so far to more than 12,600.
Patel ordered the new measure after failing to reach an agreement with her French counterpart, Gérald Darmanin, on Wednesday on measures to prevent the dangerous crossings in the Channel separating England and France, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
According to the BBC, the new tactic will only be used in “certain” circumstances and operational details are still being assessed.
Under international maritime law, people at risk of losing their lives at sea must be rescued.
Following his conversation with Darmanin, Patel noted on his Twitter account that stopping such crossings is a matter of “absolute priority for the British people.”
In July, the UK and France reached an agreement to prevent the number of small boats crossing the Channel, whereby London pledged to provide France with 54.2 million pounds (62.8 million euros) to take action, such as deploying more patrols off the French coast.EFE