Migrants crammed into dinghy shunned French saying ‘we only want UK help’
FIFTY migrants packed on a dinghy shunned French help yesterday, saying: “We only want UK assistance.”
Border Force took them to Dover, leading an MP to say we must stop acting as a Channel taxi service.
It came as net migration hit 606,000 last year — with PM Rishi Sunak admitting the figure is too high.
The packed dinghy was first spotted near Boulogne before dawn yesterday.
French warship the Formentin tracked the small boat to the middle of the Channel for more than four hours in rough seas.
The migrants turned down offers of help. The Formentin then got in touch with Border Force vessel Ranger at 7am to say the passengers only wanted “UK assistance”.
The French skipper said in broken English: “We ask to the migrants dinghy if they need our assistance.
“They say to me they only want UK assistance. But there is a lot of agitation on the dinghy.”
Despite the dinghy still being in French waters, the Ranger offered to come out of Dover to pick them up. A British officer said: “I understand. They are waiting for UK assistance. We are about to effect our rescue.”
In a two-hour dash, the Ranger raced from the Kent coast to ferry the migrants to Britain.
The Brits later thanked the Formentin captain and his team for “supporting us in this rescue”.
But last night Adam Holloway, a Tory MP on the Home Affairs committee, told the Sun: “I’m not surprised that the migrants told the French where to go.
“They know that if they get picked up by Britain they’re going to spend years having their case processed before eventually being allowed to live here. Until we break that incentive this is just going to go on and on and on.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage added: “Why are we paying the French all this money? They should be doing their job.”
A Government source admitted: “No wonder these people wanted to be rescued by our side.
“We’ve been a soft touch for too long and this kind of thing doesn’t help.
“We actually need to stop illegal migrants arriving on our shores and that’s why we’ve got the Stop the Boats bill to do just that.”
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