Dinghy carrying ten people intercepted in the Channel

A dingy carrying ten migrants has been intercepted in the English Channel by UK Border Force in the first known attempted invasion of British shores this year.

The group made the first successful attempted crossing since the Brexit deal came in to force on January 1. Border Force patrol brought the migrants to Dover Marina shortly before 5 am on Saturday morning, after which they were processed.

The men were wearing facemasks and wrapped in white blankets, and appeared to be shivering from exposure to the bitter -1 temperatures.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said in a tweet: ‘The first migrant boat of 2021. Brexit Britain needs to stop this.”

A total of 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey across the Channel last year. The busiest months for crossings was September, when 1,954 migrants arrived on British shores, more than the entire figure for 2019. On September 2 alone, 416 made the journey.

Following the Brexit deal, Britain has said it will no longer accept asylum claims at sea, paving the way for those attempting to cross the Channel to be returned to France.

However, the UK will not be able to do this until an agreement with France is reached.

Priti Patel signed a new deal with France at the end of November, in an attempt to prevent crossings from disembarking from their shores.

The Home Secretary also pledged up to £28m to double patrols along a 90-mile stretch of French coastline to scupper people-smuggling gangs, one of the root causes of the issue.

Nine people are known to have died attempting to make the crossing last year.

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