Two boats holding 40 migrants, including adult men, women and children, have been intercepted in the English Channel.
The interceptions by Border Force vessels were separate incidents and come as the Home Office warns about the risks of making the dangerous journey on unsuitable vessels.
Back in December, Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared a major incident after a sharp rise in the number of migrants being picked up by UK authorities while attempting the crossing.
Why are migrants trying to cross the Channel?
Who are the migrants attempting the dangerous journey, and what is the government doing?
Government figures revealed 539 migrants attempted to travel to the UK on small boats in 2018, with around 80% attempting it in the last three months of the year.
According to the Home Office, the migrants attempting the crossing on Saturday presented themselves as being from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
They have been medically assessed and transferred to immigration officers for interview.
“Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children,” said a Home Office spokesperson.
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“Since the home secretary declared a major incident in December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations,” they added.
Migrants are paying an average of £5,000 to cross the English Channel and do not fear being removed once they get to the UK, MPs were told in February.
Hundreds of people, the majority of them claiming to be Iranian, have tried to make the dangerous crossing in small boats in recent months.
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“It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach,” the Home Office spokesperson continued.
They said that since January more than 35 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe.
“We have also agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the joint coordination and information centre in Calais,” they added.
“Last week, the home secretary and the French interior minister, Christophe Castaner, agreed to continue to explore options to reinforce the efforts already being made.”
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