Migrant crisis: Union joins legal fight to prevent boats being turned away

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said pressure is mounting to reverse plans to make Border Force staff stop boats reaching this country.

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A union representing Border Force staff said it has joined a legal fight to prevent boats carrying migrants being turned away from the UK.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said pressure is mounting to reverse plans to make Border Force staff stop boats reaching this country.

The union said if the Government refuses to abandon the policy, it could launch judicial review proceedings in the coming weeks.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by a Border Force vessel

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our Border Force members are aghast at the thought they will be forced to implement such a cruel and inhumane policy.

“Migrants who are trying to reach this country should be allowed to do so via safe routes so that their claims can be assessed here.

“If the Government does not abandon this appalling approach, we will pursue all legal avenues including a judicial review.

“PCS will not rule out all forms of industrial action, including disrupting the implementation of the pushback policy if the Home Secretary insists on going ahead.”

Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais, said: “We are incredibly proud to be joined in this action by PCS.

“Not only will this challenge represent the interest of desperate people forced to risk their lives, it will also represent those who may well be forced to implement it.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are seeing an unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings and as part of our ongoing operational response, we continue our work to safely prevent such illegal crossings.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our officers is paramount when undertaking their operational duties, which is why we provide extensive training and ensure all operational procedures comply and are delivered in accordance with domestic and international law.

“Last summer we held a formal consultation on new maritime tactics with the unions. We continue to work closely with all the trade unions and welcome their ongoing feedback.”