• By The Financial District

BRITAIN, FRANCE CUT MIGRANTS' ROUTE

Britain and France have agreed to beef up efforts to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats, according to a UK government minister who took part in talks in Paris on Tuesday.

Immigration minister Chris Philp said that London and Paris were working to develop what he called a "comprehensive action plan" to make the route unviable. The talks between the two countries follow a recent surge in people trying to reach the UK from France, according to Euronews.


"We have worked on a joint operational plan, a revised, new operational plan, with the objective in mind of completely cutting this route," Philp told Sky News, without giving more details.


The UK wants more action taken to prevent migrant Channel crossings and has said it is considering possible changes to asylum laws.


Witnesses spotted more migrants on Tuesday packed into flimsy sea craft trying to make the route, 32 kilometres at its narrowest point, across one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.


Amid favourable weather conditions over the past few days, smugglers have stepped up efforts to encourage people to make the journey in dinghies and other vessels.


More than 650 have arrived so far in August — including 235 in a single day at the beginning of the month — with pregnant women, babies and unaccompanied children among them. The UK's Border Force intercepted another 20 migrants — from Syria — on Monday.


Around 4,000 people are estimated to have reached the UK this year after crossing the Channel in small boats.


Euronews correspondent Victoria Smith reported from Dover that many unaccompanied older teenagers were among the recent arrivals and that the authorities were struggling to accommodate them.