67 people cross English Channel on Christmas Day

·1-min read

UK authorities have brought in 67 people who were attempting to cross the English Channel on Christmas Day.

Border Force agents took a group of people to Dover, Kent, in the early hours of Saturday, following an incident involving two small boats.

French authorities also intercepted one boat on the same day. It is not known how many people were on the third boat.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
The people crossed the Channel on Christmas Day (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove, said people should not be trying to cross the Channel, and instead should be claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach.

He said the Government was reforming its approach to people crossing the Channel through the Nationality and Borders Bill.

“The public have been crying out for reform for two decades and that’s what this Government is delivering through our new plan for immigration,” he said.

“The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally, and introduce life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
French authorities also stopped one boat on the Channel (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“It will also strengthen the powers of Border Force to stop and redirect vessels, while introducing new powers to remove asylum seekers to have their claims processed outside the UK.”

Images taken by the PA news agency show UK agencies bringing the group of people in shortly before 1.30am on Christmas Day.

They were huddled in white blankets and wearing blue surgical masks.

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