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Border Force refuse to implement migrant crossing plan


The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) representing border and immigration officials, said its members were ready to take strike action over the Home Secretary's migrant "push back" plans. The policy would see officials look to redirect migrant boats in the Channel to move them back into French waters.

Patel unveiled the plans last year in an apparent bid to combat the record number of people trying to enter England via the Dover Strait in small boats.

In 2021, there were 28,381 migrants who made the treacherous journey - more than triple the number who made the crossing the year before.

The Home Office is being taken to court by the PCS and the refugee charity Care4Calais over its policy to stop more people using the route to England.

However, the PCS’s general secretary, Mark Serwotka, warned strike action could be taken if the court did not rule in their favour.

He said: "The legality of the pushbacks policy is in serious question and it is right that the court decides whether it is unlawful to turn back Channel boats.

"We cannot have a situation where our members could be open to potential civil and criminal action for implementing a policy that they do not agree with and know is not safe.

"Although we are hoping for a positive outcome from the legal proceedings, people should be in no doubt PCS strongly opposes this policy, on moral and humanitarian grounds, and we will not rule out industrial action to prevent it being carried out."

The union claims its members are "deeply concerned" the policy cannot be implemented safely.

It added officials could be exposed to civil or criminal proceedings if the policy was deemed unlawful.

Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft has said boats would only be turned back in "certain limited circumstances".