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Why aren’t Royal Navy WARSHIPS guarding British beaches and ports? MPs tear into UK border shambles and poor security as they slam ‘complacency’ over ‘colossal’ migrant crisis

  • Britain’s border security is ‘clearly under-resourced’, according to report
  • Just three Border Force patrol boats protecting 7,000 miles of coastline
  • The report calls for Navy warships to guard small ports and UK beaches
  • Hammond overlooked 500,000 migrants in Libya poised to flood Europe 

Britain’s border security is ‘clearly under-resourced’ and warships should be drafted in to guard small harbours against people-smugglers, MPs said Tuesday.

A ‘worryingly low’ total of just three Border Force patrol boats are available to protect more than 7,000 miles of UK coastline, they warned.

Their report called for Royal Navy ships to help Border Force protect our lightly-guarded small ports and beaches, which are increasingly seen as soft targets by smugglers and migrants travelling in small boats who try to avoid heavy security at ferry ports and Eurotunnel trains.

Britain's border security is ‘clearly under-resourced’ and warships should be drafted in to guard small harbours against people-smugglers, MPs said Tuesday

Incidents so far this summer include 18 Albanian migrants who had to be rescued from a sinking dinghy off the coast of Dymchurch in Kent, 17 Albanians found on a catamaran in Chichester harbour, West Sussex, and the discovery of three Iranians drifting in an inflatable boat off Dover.

MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Committee said Border Force was ‘clearly under-resourced’.

THEIR SWEEPING REPORT ALSO:
  • Accused former foreign secretary, now Chancellor, Philip Hammond of complacency over reports that half a million people have gathered in Libya hoping to cross the Mediterranean to Europe
  • Blamed the EU for failing to foresee or prepare for a ‘colossal’ migrant crisis and doing ‘too little too late’ to deal with it
  • Criticised the EU’s Schengen open borders system for allowing terrorists who slip in free passage across the continent
  • Called for 157 unaccompanied children living in camps in Calais who have family in Britain to be allowed to cross the Channel

The report adds to growing pressure for naval assistance to be given to Border Force, which has just four patrol boats, one of which is currently in the Mediterranean.

Four more that are promised will be unavailable for at least another year.

In comparison, Italy has 600 vessels to guard a coastline that is 3,000 miles shorter, the report said.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: ‘Criminal gangs continue to exploit weaknesses in security at small ports in Britain to illegally transport migrants from the continent.

‘Despite maritime security being critical to an island nation, Border Force is operating worryingly low numbers of vessels to protect our borders.’

Royal Navy chiefs are understood to be prepared to devote one or more River-class patrol boats to assist Border Force if Home Secretary Amber Rudd requests them.

Two of the 260ft vessels, which have a crew of 45, are working on fishery protection but could be released if Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom gives permission.

The MPs’ report, Migration Crisis, said: ‘Border Force needs to be given all the necessary equipment, including vessels, to enable it to carry out its responsibilities effectively.

‘The number of Border Force vessels in operation appears to be worryingly low.

‘Royal Navy vessels should be made available to Border Force to make up for shortfalls, where necessary.’

 Suspected boat and minibus used to pick up migrants in Kent

The report called for Royal Navy ships to help Border Force protect our lightly-guarded small ports and beaches, which are increasingly seen as soft targets by smugglers and migrants travelling in small boats who try to avoid heavy security at ferry ports and Eurotunnel trains

It added that tightened security at major ports and airports had led to a ‘displacement’ of illegal migration, with small ports now targeted, and said security must be strengthened at these points too ‘as a matter of urgency’.

The Home Office said there were ‘additional military and law enforcement vessels available’, but the Ministry of Defence said Border Force has not yet requested naval assistance.

The Home Office added: ‘We continue to work tirelessly to maintain the security of our border.

‘We will respond to the committee’s recommendations in due course.’

Alp Mehmet, of the Migration Watch UK think tank, said: ‘Clearly the challenges facing the UK Border Force remain significant and are growing.

‘It is imperative that more money is devoted to address the issue of illegal immigration.’

More than 150 children living without parents in migrant camps in Calais should be brought to Britain, the MPs’ report said

The recommendation came three months after former prime minister David Cameron responded to the Daily Mail’s call for compassion by inviting 3,000 children stuck in squalid refugee camps in France, Germany and Italy to come to this country

More than 150 children living without parents in migrant camps in Calais should be brought to Britain, the MPs’ report said.

The 157 children who are known to be unaccompanied ‘should already have arrived’ here, it added.

The recommendation came three months after former prime minister David Cameron responded to the Daily Mail’s call for compassion by inviting 3,000 children stuck in squalid refugee camps in France, Germany and Italy to come to this country.

But there were concerns that doing so might encourage more migrants to attempt risky journeys to reach Britain.

The Home Affairs Committee report said: ‘We accept the Government’s concern that allowing unaccompanied children to join family members already in the UK might create a “pull factor”, resulting in more vulnerable young people making dangerous journeys to try to reach the UK.

‘We appreciate that these are sensitive and complex matters and that proper account needs to be taken of the legal and safeguarding requirements in the countries where unaccompanied children are currently located.’

But the MPs said that ministers should ‘as a one-off action accept all of these children into the UK now’.

The report added that some refugees in camps in Calais had family members in Britain and should be entitled to enter the country.

The MPs also said: ‘We are yet to see any evidence of a strategy designed to deliver a long-term solution to the presence of these camps.’

In March the Mail reported on hundreds of ‘lost boys’ who were living in squalid conditions in Calais.

Moment two Brits smuggle illegal immigrants in English Channel

The European Union was criticised by MPs for not foreseeing the scale of the migrant flow and then failing to handle the crisis. Some 4,027 migrants have died so far this year, a 26 per cent increase from the same period in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration

The European Union was criticised by MPs for not foreseeing the scale of the migrant flow and then failing to handle the crisis. Some 4,027 migrants have died so far this year, a 26 per cent increase from the same period in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration

The European Union was criticised by MPs for not foreseeing the scale of the migrant flow and then failing to handle the crisis.

The report also said the EU’s efforts to stop people-smugglers have been ‘poor’.

Some 1.25million asylum-seekers came to Europe last year and more than a quarter of a million migrants arrived in the first six months of this year.

The report from the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the union was ‘too slow to respond’, adding: ‘The EU failed to anticipate the scale of migrant flows, and did not have the structures in place to cope.’

The MPs said the EU’s £5billion deal with Turkey in March, under which new arrivals can be sent back to Turkey, came ‘far too late’.

They added that ‘further action is urgently required to ensure vulnerable people do not suffer further exploitation by criminals’ and face the ‘current high risk of death’.

Some 4,027 migrants have died so far this year, a 26 per cent increase from the same period in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The committee’s report also accused former foreign secretary Philip Hammond of being ‘complacent in respect of Libya, where a reported 500,000 people are waiting to cross the Mediterranean illegally’.

The report said a promised Royal Navy ship has not been sent to the North African country.

It also said that the EU should offer Libya a deal like Turkey.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said ships in the Mediterranean saved lives but failed to deter migrants or stop criminal smuggling networks, adding: ‘The EU’s response in combating people traffickers who are exploiting, exacerbating and profiting from this crisis has been poor.’

Terrorists have taken advantage of the EU’s Shengen free-movement system, leading to a raised security threat, the MPs also warned.

Mr Vaz said recent appalling attacks show terrorists are exploiting the migrant crisis by using it as a cloak to enter Europe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3720819/Border-shambles-MPs-report-tears-UK-s-poor-security-calls-Navy-warships-guard-coastguard-PhilipHammond-slammed-complacency.html

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