Boats: Undocumented Migrants

Home Office written question – answered on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many boats illegally transporting migrants have arrived in the UK in each month of the last three years.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many boats transporting migrants to the UK have been turned back in each month of the last three years.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many boats illegally transporting migrants to the UK have been sent back to France in each month of the last three years.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many boats illegally transporting migrants to the UK have been stopped in French waters in each month of the last three years.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

To provide information regarding the number of boats illegally transporting migrants have arrived in the UK in each month of the last three years would require a manual check of individual records which would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

However, we can provide information that the number of migrants arriving in the UK crossing the Channel by small boats for the months of January to March 2020 is approx. 450.  These are provisional figures based on operational management information. The figures for April have not passed through a data quality check and cannot be assured. The final figures for all months will be published at a later date, once they have been verified and fully quality assured.

Interceptions of migrants at sea is carried by UK and French authorities, migrants will be taken to the appropriate country determined by the interception’s location in territorial waters.

In April 2020 more than 500 migrants have been stopped from getting to the UK using a small boat. This includes French law enforcement at sea, on beaches and on the inland roads network.

The UK continues to work closely with France and other countries to return migrants who have entered the UK by small boat in order to provide a strong deterrent against these dangerous crossings.

Since January 2019, over 155 people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe. However, as a result of COVID-19 the vast majority of EU member states have temporarily paused accepting returns under the Dublin Regulations, but we are tracking those individuals and where appropriate will seek to return them when routes are available.

The Home Secretary together with her French counterpart have reaffirmed their shared commitment to end the crossings and have put forward new measures and approaches to tackling the issue – looking again at ways to return more migrants to France.

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