High-octane measure Tory MPs demand Priti Patel tow Channel-crossers back to France

Macron ‘will make those types of comments’ says Priti Patel

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Tory MPs have called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to send back Channel-crossing boats reaching the United Kingdom. The news comes just days after almost 1,000 people made the perilous 21 mile journey across the Dover strait on Monday, according to reports from the Telegraph.

Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative MP for Thanet South in Kent, said sending boats back would be a “high-octane measure”.

The ex-deputy leader of UKIP added: “Immediate relief is in the hands of the French authorities.

“We need to up the stakes and consider immediate removal back to France of all who arrive via this illegal route and disregard diplomatic niceties.

“This, above all else, would show, and rapidly, that the route does not work and the migrants would simply not waste their money in trying it.

“I know that the home secretary is as frustrated as many of us and I have recommended such a high octane measure to her.”

His Kent coast colleague, Natalie Elphicke, wrote on Twitter that she also backed turning boats away.

“If the French won’t stop the small boats then we need to,” the MP for Dover said.

But the south-eastern MPs have also been joined by the Red Wall’s Lee Anderson in calling for a stronger response from the Government.

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The Ashfield MP claimed he told the Home Secretary on Monday: “We should drop these illegal immigrants, not migrants, off on a French beach and send the French government a bill for the cost of the journey.”

Conservatives in the Commons now seem to be falling in line with the chair of Migration Watch UK.

Alp Mehmet told Express.co.uk last month: “We’ve got to persuade the French that they’ve got to take them back.”

The ex-diplomat added: “What we’ve got to show is that those coming over here seeking asylum, trying to come across illegally and doing it, will not be granted asylum and that they will be returned either to where they came or their country of origin.”

Ms Patel has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks for her handling of the Channel crossings.

Immigration remains an important issue for Conservative Party voters.

Although Ms Patel is said to have told her colleagues on Monday she was ready to withhold the £54million she promised to hand over to the French to block migrants crossings, the Times reports Ms Patel’s handling of the dinghy debacle could even lead to her demotion.

An ally to the Prime Minister told the broadsheet: “It’s all very well for her to complain about not having the levers to fix it but she’s been in the job for two years now.”

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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, has been tipped as a potential candidate to replace Patel.

However, he has also been named, alongside the immensely popular International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, to succeed Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary if the MP for Esher & Walton is demoted.

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