Boris Johnson has pledged to create new laws to tackle migrants crossing the English Channel once the Brexit transition period comes to an end, as the RAF deployed an aircraft to assist Border Force for the first time. The Prime Minister conceded that it was “very, very difficult” to return migrants who arrive in the UK from France via the Channel and said the UK would need to “look at the legal framework that we have” that allows such a situation to develop. However Mr Johnson added that his Government needed to look at what it can do to “change” the “panoply of laws that an illegal immigrant has at his or her disposal that allows them to stay here”. Record numbers of asylum seekers have crossed the Channel to reach the UK this year, with nearly 600 people having made the journey by boat in the last few days alone. On Tuesday the Immigration minister, Chris Philp, will hold talks with his French counterparts to discuss the evolving situation. When Mr Philp is in Paris it will be "to seek to agree stronger measures with them, including interceptions and returns, to tackle this shared challenge head on". On Monday the UK Government was accused of exercising “political measure” following speculation that the Royal Navy would be deployed to help with the crisis. Pierre-Henri Dumont, the MP for Calais, said involving the navy was “to show some kind of resource to fight against smugglers and illegal crossings in the Channel, but technically speaking that won't change anything”. His comments come after the RAF for the first time assisted Border Force by deploying its Atlas A400M transport aircraft to survey the Channel on Monday morning on orders authorised by Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, following the Home Office's formal request for help from the MoD. Priti Patel, who travelled to Dover on Monday to “see how Border Force and other operational partners are tirelessly dealing with the unacceptable number of illegal small boat crossings” pledged to make this “incredibly dangerous route unviable".
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