Britain recalls Border Force cutter due to fears of surge in migrants crossing border
BRITAIN has recalled a Border Force cutter from the Mediterranean due to fears Britain’s ports chaos will trigger a surge of migrants trying to cross the Channel in small boats.
HMC Valiant, a 42-metre vessel, arrived at Poole, in Dorset, after a four-year deployment and is now ready to patrol the south coast, keeping watch.
Home Secretary Priti Patel recalled the ship after receiving intelligence that Calais migrants are increasingly resorting to small boat crossings after the last three days of delays at Dover, Kent, over mutant Covid.
Desperate illegal migrants have had fewer opportunities to hide in vehicles following the French border blockade.
Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, Chris Philp said: “It is great news that, having completed her important deployment, Valiant is safely back, ready to bolster the UK’s post transition maritime security capability.
“Like all of our versatile maritime assets, she will be tasked on a risk and intelligence-led basis.
“That could be supporting work to tackle illegally-facilitated small boat crossings in the Channel or intercepting vessels engaged in the smuggling of people, drugs or other forms of criminality.”
Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln said: “I am incredibly proud of the crews from Border Force Maritime Command who have provided such valuable support to the Hellenic Coastguard and the wider humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean.
“Their expertise, commitment and courage has saved many lives.”
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