A small boat carrying 20 Syrian migrants was met by the British Border Force off the coast of Dover, local media reported on Monday.

Between Thursday and Sunday, almost 700 migrants landed in the UK via the Channel, according to Sky News.

The British government has taken a tougher line on migration via the Channel in recent days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his willingness to work with French authorities to stop the channel crossings and ensure that migrants “understand that this isn’t a good idea, this is a very bad and stupid and dangerous and criminal thing to do”.

“But then there’s a second thing we’ve got to do and that is to look at the legal framework that we have that means that when people do get here, it is very, very difficult to then send them away again even though blatantly they’ve come here illegally,” Johnson said.

Helen Whately, minister in the Department of Health & Social Care, told Sky News: “We do have an unacceptable situation of many migrants coming across the Channel at the moment.

“The important thing is we work together with the French to stop this flow of migrants,” she said.

“It’s not a safe way for them to try and get here, it is incredibly dangerous, it also means money is going to people smugglers, so it absolutely needs to stop.”

Over the course of this year, the total number of migrants reaching the UK is more than 4,000, according to the PA Media, a London-based news agency.

The government has officially asked the Royal Navy for support in stemming the migrant boats crossing the Channel, and have appointed a former Royal Marine as a “clandestine Channel threat commander.”

On Tuesday, Chris Philp, British minister for immigration, will travel to Paris to discuss the issue with the relevant French authorities.

He was quoted by Sky News as saying he wants the Channel to become “completely unviable” so that migrants “have no incentive to come to northern France or attempt the crossing in the first place.”

“We intend to return as many migrants who have arrived as possible,” he said.

“There are return flights planned in the coming days. And we will also continue to go after the heinous criminals and organised crime networks putting people’s lives at risk.”

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