Briton and Iranian arrested in Manchester over migrant Channel crossings

English Channel crossings by migrants

English Channel crossings by migrants

Mr Javid was forced to interrupt his family holiday to return to the United Kingdom after growing concern about the numbers crossing the channel.

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid is under fire after appearing to suggest many of those seeking to get to the United Kingdom from France were not genuine asylum seekers.

As part of a joint action plan agreed with France last week, Mr Javid - who cut short his holiday to deal with the issue - has ordered two UK Border Force boats to be redeployed from overseas to patrol the Channel.

Javid cut his holiday in South Africa to respond to the increasing number of people undertaking the risky journey across the Channel, and he described it as a "major incident".

He was criticised for questioning whether those crossing the Channel were genuine asylum seekers.

"You're coming from France, which is a safe country, and in nearly every case you are claiming asylum and if you are a real genuine asylum seeker you could have done that in a safe country".

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He told reporters on Wednesday that 539 people had crossed the Channel illegally in 2018, with 80% making the journey in the last three months of the year.

Javid announced Monday that two more border enforcement boats will patrol the area - the world's busiest shipping lane - after chairing a meeting of high-level officials.

Of the recent arrests, a National Crime Agency spokeswoman said: "NCA officers have tonight arrested a 33-year-old Iranian national and a 24-year-old British man in Manchester, on suspicion of arranging the illegal movement of migrants across the English Channel into the UK".

"It's incredibly unsafe, please do not do that, you are taking your life into your own hands", he said.

Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, has said Europe can not "close its borders" as he spoke about the migrant crisis facing the continent.

"They are the product of wars, they are the product of human rights abuses, they are the product of environmental disasters".

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