06:26 GMT28 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The intercepted migrants were transported to Dover, a major UK port, and detained for questioning by immigration officials, the Sky News broadcaster reported.

    At least 20 migrants trying to cross the English Channel in boats have been intercepted by UK and French patrol vessels in the early hours of Tuesday, media reported.

    A UK Home Office spokesperson was quoted as saying by the broadcaster that "anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children."

    According to media reports, there has been a significant increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross from France to the United Kingdom in boats.

    A handout image made available by France's Societe Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) on February 18, 2019, shows British rescuers (front) helping some 20 migrants on a semi-rigid boat trying make their way from France across the English Channel
    © AFP 2019 / Handout / SOCIETE NATIONAL DE SAUVETAGE EN MER

    On 17 November, UK Border Force officials intercepted four boats in a single day off the coast of Dover, and arrested the 39 Iranian migrants on board, the TV channel reported.

    Citing multiple sources, including police records, the broadcaster estimates that 1,456 irregular migrants have travelled across the English Channel by boat between December 2018 and October this year.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to tackle the issue of illegal immigration in the United Kingdom. The newly re-elected Conservative Party leader has set out to abolish free movement and promised to deport those who crossed the English Channel illegally.

    Tags:
    English Channel, migration, France, UK
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