Migrant Crisis: Forty people rescued at sea in Channel near Calais

It comes after UK authorities confirmed 67 people attempted the crossing on Christmas Day

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Forty people have been rescued at sea in the Channel near Calais, the French channel coast prefecture said on Monday.

It said in a statement the group was saved in the night from Sunday to Monday and brought to Calais harbour, and again warned against people trying to cross the Channel illegally.

It did not say whether the people rescued were migrants and did not detail their nationalities. Last month, 27 migrants died when their small rubber dinghy deflated in the Channel while heading to Britain from France.

UK authorities brought in 67 people who were attempted to cross the English Channel on Christmas Day.

Border Force agents took a group of people to Dover, Kent, in the early hours of Saturday, following an incident involving two small boats.

Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove, said people should not be trying to cross the Channel, and instead should be claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach.

He said the Government was reforming its approach to people crossing the Channel through the Nationality and Borders Bill.

“The public have been crying out for reform for two decades and that’s what this Government is delivering through our new plan for immigration,” he said.

“The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally, and introduce life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.

“It will also strengthen the powers of Border Force to stop and redirect vessels, while introducing new powers to remove asylum seekers to have their claims processed outside the UK.”