On Thursday afternoon, Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Mersey left Portsmouth to prevent migrant crossings in the English channel. The navy joins the UK Border Force and French authorities in patrolling the area after a request from the Home Office. Earlier this week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid was criticized for questioning whether the people crossing the English Channel were "genuine refugees". His comments were criticized by opposition MPs and campaigners who said they were deeply concerning.
Mr. Javid also said that the UK has seen a real step-change in attempts to cross the channel over the past three months but is the situation really as bad as he says? The United Nations refugee agency has dismissed the controversy
, stating that 539 people attempted to cross the English Channel in 2018 while 115,000 crossed the Mediterranean
. Putting the "crisis" into even further perspective, 625,000 Rohingya refugees
crossed into Bangladesh since violence and persecution erupted in Myanmar.