The Home Office has ditched plans to turn small boats around in the English Channel as the migrant crisis shows no signs of abating, with more than 800 more making the crossing in one day.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said analysis has shown there are only “limited circumstances in which small boats can be turned around safely in the English Channel”.
He said in a parliamentary written answer the proposals are “currently withdrawn and there are no current plans for the turnaround tactics to be reintroduced under defence primacy”.
On Monday, another 426 migrants crossed the Channel – a two-week high – but that figure more than doubled on Tuesday when 884 people in 17 boats were brought to Dover by Border Force and the RNLI. The total since the start of the year making the dangerous crossing has surged beyond 43,000.
These proposals would have seen small migrant boats intercepted in the Channel, turned back around and sent back to France.
Alternatively, passengers would have been transferred to UK Border Force vessels and delivered to a French port.
In April, former Home Secretary Priti Patel conceded the turnaround tactics had been put to one side but insisted they would remain under review.
Earlier this year, Parliament passed legislation introducing powers allowing small boats intercepted in the Channel to be turned back.
Tens of thousands of pounds had even been spent by the Home Office on specialist maritime gear to enforce the policy, with one purchase including a life raft that cocoons small boats while occupants are removed.
Elsewhere, officials have knocked back reports Home Secretary Suella Braverman wants to accelerate migrant deportations by resurrecting a list of countries which are deemed to be safe.
But a Home Office source insisted on Tuesday the plans are not being considered, according to a report from MailOnline.
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