France bans sale of inflatable boats in Channel towns to stop migrant crossings
France has been forced to ban the sale of rubber dinghies from Channel towns in an attempt to stop an increase in migrant crossings.
Sports shops scattered along the French coast near the English Channel have been urged to stop selling boats and kayaks amid a constant flow of migrants sailing through the waters to the UK.
But despite the ban, smugglers can bypass restrictions by ordering inflatable boats online and having them delivered to their safe homes, reports The sun.
The boats and kayaks are then transported by the traffickers to points along the coast where migrants wishing to cross the Channel can retrieve them.
A group of people considered migrants disembarked from the local lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent this afternoon
Sports retailer Decathlon’s store in Calais showed on its website that the boats were not for sale – but the newspaper was able to order a ship online for Â£ 600 and have it delivered to a door-to-door address in the town coastal.
In the meantime, it is also possible to order an inflatable boat on Amazon to be delivered to addresses in Calais.
It comes as the The flow of migrants to Britain across the Channel slowed considerably on Tuesday after Priti Patel threatened to cancel the Â£ 54million pledged to France to help their authorities cope with the crisis.
On Monday, the number of migrants crossing the Kent coast in canoe after canoe is said to have exceeded 1,000 in a single day for the first time.
Dozens of migrants started to arrive in Kent again at dawn today after crossing the English Channel without a hitch as people smugglers used the British Indian summer and calm waters to send in record numbers.
But as of 5 p.m. today, today’s figure was only around 200 migrants. MailOnline has asked the Home Office to comment on why the numbers appear to be falling.
A border worker carries a child among a group of migrants brought to Dover this morning after crossing France
It came as Priti Patel said she was ready to withhold the Â£ 54million pledged to France to block migrant crossings because boat after boat continues to land in Kent every day.
The Home Secretary met with Conservative MPs last night and blamed the French for the large number of people crossing the Channel, saying she was ready to withdraw funding promised less than two months ago if they did not do not stop three out of four crossings by the end of the month, The temperature reports.
But France hit back at the Home Secretary for his threat to withhold the Â£ 54million she had promised.
The Home Office told Patel that reneging on his promise would seriously undermine efforts to limit illegal travel.
And he warned that attempting to return potential refugees directly to France would be dangerous and violate international law, after Tory MPs urged him to take dramatic action to discourage others from following the same route.
Meanwhile, Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont said: âWe will not respond to blackmail. Quite simply, if the money is withdrawn, the resources will decrease and the number of migrants will increase.
A group of suspected migrants are escorted to shore in Kingsdown, Kent, after being pulled over by an RNLI crew following an incident on a small boat in the English Channel
Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin is visiting London today and is expected to have a confrontation with Miss Patel over how best to tackle the record number of illegal crossings. Over 13,000 have arrived in the UK by boat this year.
Crossings began at dawn on Tuesday, with boats arriving at Dover while the RNLI was seen towing another ashore further east at Kingsdown and Dungeness.
Tuesday morning a canoe carrying around 30 migrants was intercepted by border force agents, observers said. The ship with dozens of people, including children on board, was escorted to Dover Marina in Kent today.
And about an hour later, 31 migrants landed at Kingsdown, between Dover and Deal. Another 30 migrants also arrived at Dungeness this afternoon.
Then just under 60 people arrived at the port of Dover after being intercepted by border force ships this afternoon. About 50 of them were brought to port aboard the patrol boat Hunter just before 3 p.m.
Then a small border force boat carrying a group of seven migrants arrived in the port shortly after, escorted by two jet skis. Meanwhile, observers reported that 15 migrants landed on a beach in Dungeness this afternoon.
Human traffickers would take advantage of the good weather to undertake crossings in flat and calm seas. But conditions are expected to change later in the week, making crossings more dangerous.
The Interior Ministry has still not confirmed the number of people who arrived from France on Monday. He said he would release the official figures once all migrants were processed.
MEPs have already wondered why the UK has given even more money to Paris when so many people are still making the dangerous journey.
Monday’s estimated total could break the record of 828 crossings in a single day, set on August 21 – the last time migrants made it through Britain.
A period of bad weather halted attempts before 158 asylum seekers, including children, reached the UK on Sunday via the world’s busiest sea route.
However, on Monday, with calm seas and temperatures around Dover reaching 24C, smugglers reportedly tried to overwhelm the Channel’s defenses by launching as many boats as possible.
Witnesses described seeing a number of large boats landing on the south coast throughout the day, while other groups were intercepted by lifeboats and brought ashore. The crossings – and the money given to the French – will further embarrass Patel, who has repeatedly vowed to close the murderous smuggling route.
About 13,000 have already crossed the Channel to reach Britain this year – eclipsing the 8,417 who made the trip across 2020. The Home Office previously pledged to make the trip “no viable”.
On Monday, he said he could “neither confirm nor deny” the record number of crossings reported. Two lifeboats were seen landing at Dungeness, Kent, containing about 60 people.
The Dungeness RNLI lifeboat also brought more than 30 people to the beach, including at least one toddler and a number of children. Some migrants, who were traveling in families with children, waved a thumbs-up at photographers as they were escorted by border force officers for treatment.
A boat was found abandoned near the Dungeness power station surrounded by life jackets, indicating that there are more that will not officially be counted in the total.
A lifeboat in Hastings, East Sussex, helped a group of more than 30 disembark. Witnesses also reported that at least 50 asylum seekers were taken to Dover Marina by a border guard after being intercepted.
There were even reports of four men canoeing in a canoe so overloaded it was partly submerged.
Traffickers in France are likely to make a final push before the unpredictable weather in the fall.
No less than 300 other migrants were seen in the dunes near Dunkirk, waiting for boats bound for the United Kingdom on Monday.
Alp Mehmet, President of Migrationwatch, said: âAs long as the road is successful, the numbers will just increase. If people can come to the UK in a dinghy and stay here, there is too much money to be made by the traffickers for them to stop. Currently, nothing discourages them. We have to show that crossing illegally in a canoe will not work. Right now, it’s working.