Europe

Patel backs deal with the French following criticism she received

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French warships have been spotted escorting vessels packed with migrants into UK waters before dumping them for Border Force vessels to pick them up. On Monday a French military craft tried to hand one boat over to a TV crew.

But Ms Patel defended the spending, warning that organised gangs are forcing people into small boats along “the entire French coastline”.

She said an increasing number of crossings are coming from Belgium. She told the Home Affairs Committee: “France are intercepting more boats than they did this time last year, that’s because numbers are so high.”

This was confirmed by Paul Lincoln, director general of Border Force, who said the number of boats intercepted by the French had “trebled” from more than 2,100 by June last year to more than 6,000 for the same period this year.

This was confirmed by Paul Lincoln, director general of Border Force, who said the number of boats intercepted by the French had “trebled” from more than 2,100 by June last year to more than 6,000 for the same period this year.

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