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Former Navy Admiral says small boat crossings will get 'even worse this year'


Britain will be 'overwhelmed' by migrants crossing the Channel this year, a former high-ranking naval officer has warned.

Dr Chris Parry criticised both the British and French governments for failing to crack down on people smugglers and those attempting to enter the country illegally.

He suggested bolstering the technology to identify when and where boats were leaving France from, and imposing 'political sanctions' on the French if they don't play their part.

More than 1,100 migrants crossed the channel last week, with more than 4,500 making the trip in 2023 alone.

Dr Parry, a retired Royal Navy rear admiral, told TalkTV that the situation is only likely to get worse in the summer.

He said: 'We've got now what we call the boating season – and currently, with the legislation and arrangements in place, we're going to be overwhelmed.

'If you think last year's numbers were bad, it is going to be even worse this year. The Government picks at this in tactical fashion – it doesn't look at overall strategy.'

Dr Parry stressed: 'We need to detect these people as they're getting into the water, rather than when they get to the median line across the Channel.

'The only way to do that is to get decent technology in the air, tell the French when it's happening and get them to sort it out.

'If the French don't apply the law and help us here – and this is a humanitarian crisis which affects both sides of the Channel – we need to apply political sanctions.'

Dr Parry added: 'I suspect the EU would be putting very heavy pressure on the UK if it was the other way round.'