“Awful conditions” drive refugees out of French camps as spike in lockdown channel crossings continues

Support us and go ad-free

More suspected refugees have been spotted at Dover in Kent on 9 May as the huge increase in English channel crossings since lockdown was imposed continues.

Pictures taken at the busy trade port show people wearing face masks being processed by officials. They follow reports of another influx of refugees to Britain on 8 May.

A humanitarian charity said it’s “little wonder” that so many people are risking their lives to cross the dangerous Dover straits because of “awful conditions” in French refugee camps.

The Home Office has yet to confirm how many refugees were brought to the UK on either day. The department has only confirmed on 9 May:

Border Force is currently dealing with a number of ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast

Coronavirus – Sat May 9, 2020
A man thought to be a refugee is processed by Border Force officers after being brought to shore in Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Earlier this week, home secretary Priti Patel acknowledged that a recent increase in the number of boats making the dangerous crossing of the English Channel is linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

Since lockdown was announced in Britain on 23 March, at least 609 refugees have been intercepted by UK authorities and brought ashore, according to data gathered by the PA news agency. This is more than half of the entire total for 2020, which stands at at least 987.

These figures do not include crossings on 8-9 May, which the Home Office has so far refused to disclose.

‘Life-threatening’

Clare Moseley, founder of charity Care4Calais, said:

It’s little wonder people living in France’s refugee camps are desperate to make this dangerous crossing, given the awful conditions they face there.

Coronavirus has made a bad situation life-threateningly worse. People are squeezed into tiny areas, they can’t social distance, and the support they relied on for survival is drastically reduced.

These people are fleeing terrifying situations in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. They aim for the UK because they want to be safe.

Many have family or other connections, and others know our language and want to integrate and contribute. Now more than ever, we need to give them a safe and humane way to have their requests for asylum fairly heard, that’s the way to end chaotic and dangerous channel crossings once and for all.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us