"A question has to be asked: if you are a genuine asylum seeker why have you not sought asylum in the first safe country that you arrived in because France is not a country where anyone would argue it is not safe in anyway whatsoever, and if you are genuine then why not seek asylum in your first safe country?" asked Home Secretary Sajid Javid during a visit to Dover on Wednesday 2 January.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) 2 January 2019
Mr. Javid said the UK government wanted to send a message to gangs who are making thousands of euros from trafficking migrants they "won't succeed and we won't allow people to succeed".
He said those who made it to the UK by boat or in the back of lorries would see their asylum requests processed "in the normal way".
Dozens of migrants have been rescued from the straits of Dover — one of the world's busiest shipping lanes — in the last month.
After talks with officials on Monday, December 31, Mr. Javid deployed two Royal Navy cutters to work alongside HMC Vigilant, a Border Agency vessel which is already operating off the Kent coast.
He also promised better co-operation with the French, despite Brexit looming.