Britain could copy Australia and start ‘pushing back’ migrant boats after record numbers
THE GOVERNMENT is considering copying tactics used by Australia and physically blocking migrant boats from entering British waters according to an incendiary report.
Recent weeks have seen an increased number of migrants, many of whom claim to be refugees, arriving in the UK by small boat. Currently the British Border Force intercept the dinghies and take migrants onboard in a bid to ensure their safety.
However this has led critics to claim they are effectively providing a “taxi service” across the English Channel.
On Friday an estimated 150 migrants attempting to cross to Britain were picked up by the Border Force.
This followed a record 235 who made the trip on Thursday.
So far this year more than 3,800 migrants have made the crossing, versus 1,850 for the entirety of last year.
The Government is considering turning back migrant boats
Currently the British Border Force intercept migrant dinghies
As the English Channel is the world’s busiest shipping lane, and many of the boats are flimsy inflatables, there are fears a fatal accident could take place.
According to a Whitehall source, speaking to The Times, Ministers are considering a strategy previously used by Australia called “push back” that would block migrant boats from entering UK waters.
The source said: “Australia does an operation they call ‘push back’ and it has been successful.
“It is one option we are looking at.”
Migrants being unloaded at a UK port
However the paper reports the Government has concerns about the legality of such a move and of the political implications should an operation end in drownings.
Currently French vessels are forced to stop any interception attempt if migrants threaten to jump in the water.
This is because under the law of the sea the preservation of life is of primary importance.
Instead therefore the French ships are forced to maintain their distance whilst escorting the vessels towards UK waters in case they sink.
Dover sees 120 migrants arrive on dinghies after crossing Channel [REVEAL]
French fishermen have ‘long track record’ of ports chaos – UK warned [BREXIT]
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