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UK and France working to ‘completely’ cut off migrant crossing route says minister as dozens more make perilous journey

THE UK and France are working to “completely” cut off the migrant cross route in the Channel, the immigration minister said today.

Chris Philp said both sides were “clear more needs to be done” as dozens more boats arrived today.

Mr Philp met with officials in Paris today to thrash out a plan with the French to “completely cut” the route smugglers are using to get migrants into Britain.

He said: “The French authorities are doing a  great deal of work… But the sheer numbers crossing channel are completely unacceptable.

“If we can make this route unviable then migrants will have no reason at all to come to France in the first place.”

Mr Philp would not give details but said there were “a number of measures, some new, under discussion”. 

He said it would be “premature” to announce the amount of funding France would be putting in to stop the influx of migrants.

“We are prepared to support (France) in all the ways necessary to make it a success.”

More than 4,000 people have reached Dover already this year. 

Britain’s newly appointed “small boats commander” ex-Marine Dan O’Mahoney joined Mr Philp for the talks, and will return to France next week for further discussions.

Several boats were seen making their way to Dover’s coastline this morning as smuggling operations continued to ship boatloads of people to the UK to claim asylum.

This summer has seen thousands more migrants try and make the perilous journey – and hundreds have been successful daily.

Many are being told after Britain leaves the EU border restrictions will be tighter.

The UK and France have signed multiple agreements to try and stop the flow of migrants through the Channel – the most recent was only last month.

The Sun revealed yesterday they were even offering deals for people – saying their kids could go over for free.

A law enforcement official told The Sun: “The depths these criminals will sink to make their profit from misery knows no bounds.”

Several arrivals were spotted being taken onto coaches and taken away for their applications to be processed.

Sky News reported seeing four crammed boats this morning – including one where people cheered “UK” as they approached.

PM Boris Johnson blasted the bids as a “very bad and stupid and dangerous and criminal thing to do”.

Yesterday he vowed to look at the law to try and make it easier to stop people making the dangerous crossing.

Mr Johnson urged Paris to do more, saying: “There’s no doubt that it would be helpful if we could work with our French friends to stop them getting over the Channel.”

Speaking on a school visit in East London, the PM added: “Be in no doubt what’s going on is the activity of cruel and criminal gangs who are risking the lives of these people taking them across the Channel — a pretty dangerous stretch of water — in potentially unseaworthy vessels.

“We want to make sure that they understand this isn’t a good idea. 

French authorities have stopped just 810 migrants this year. 

Pierre-Henri Dumont insisted they were doing all they could, adding: “If you’ve got dozens of crossings a day, that’s very difficult for us to stop.

“It only takes five minutes to have a small boat at sea full with migrants, with a coast of 300km to monitor.”

Junior health minister Edward Argar said Mr Johnson wanted more flexibility to deal with the problem.

“What he’s looking at, quite rightly, is greater flexibility … in returning people who have come here illegally … and need to be returned back to France,” he told Sky News this morning.

More than 20 migrants were escorted to Dover on Tuesday by the British border force.

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