Britain ‘battling to deport 1,000 illegal migrants who crossed Channel in small boats’.
His comments revealing the scale of backlogged deportations came as Boris Johnson reiterated his pledge to take advantage of Brexit to make it easier to deport migrants who have come here illegally.
He said the UK had become a “target and magnet” for people traffickers
Calm seas saw another surge in migrants crossing the Channel, with more than 100 people rescued off the coast of Dover by Border Force patrol vessels.
Some of the suspected migrants smiled and waved as they arrived into the busy port while others carried toddlers too young to walk.
There are also multiple reports of people landing on beaches in Kent.
Boris said he had “a great deal of sympathy” for parents so desperate that they are putting their children in dinghies and even paddling pools to cross the Channel.
But he said that they are falling prey to criminal gangs and vowed to change the law to help tackle the crisis.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said: “I have a great deal of sympathy with those who are so desperate as to put their children in dinghies or even children’s paddling pools and try to cross the Channel.
“But I have to say what they’re doing is falling prey to criminal gangs and they are breaking the law. They’re also undermining the legitimate claims of others who would seek asylum in this country.
“That is why we will take advantage of leaving the EU by changing the Dublin regulations on returns and we will address the rigidities in our laws that makes this country, I’m afraid, a target and a magnet for those who would exploit vulnerable people in this way.”
Meanwhile Home Secretary Priti Patelsignalled the UK could adopt a much tougher approach to immigration after posing alongside former Aussie PM Tony Abbott – known for his hardline approach to immigration.