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SHOCKING images show French border guards "dump" a sinking migrant dinghy into British waters for UK officials to rescue.

As many as 16 Afghani migrants were rescued by a Border Force ship this morning in the Dover Strait.

7The French border guards observed the migrants cross into British watersCredit: Steve Finn 7

Images show two French border guards on a smaller inflatable boat which was dispatched from the larger naval vessel.

The guards, appeared to be checking on the migrants, before letting them continue into British waters.

The group of 16, including two women and two children, were left stranded in their overcrowded dingy.

A group on a fishing trip spotted the migrants at roughly 8am while they were in the Separation Zone between the French and English side of the busy waterway.

A UK Border Force Hunter vessel picked up the migrants and took them ashore to Dover, Kent.

One witness said the boat would have sunk if they had not been rescued by a British border patrol.

7The French guards approaching the helpless migrantsCredit: Steve Finn 7The overcrowded dinghy appeared to be sinking as it arrived into British watersCredit: SWNS:South West News Service 7The group began to use plastic bottles to drain the water from the boatCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

He said: "We saw them about 8am this morning and we were fishing at the halfway mark - which is called the separation zone and is about 10 to 12 miles out. We were on the English side.

"When we saw them we thought, 'why are they not being stopped, why are the French not stopping and helping them?'

"If Border Force wasn't launched to collect them, they would've sunk.

"There was a lot of people in that one boat, there are normally more on some days. They average about three to 22 per boat."

Border Force and French patrols have been increasingly more active in the Dover Strait as the number of migrants crossings has rocketed in recent months.

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On Monday a group of 10 migrants was seen running along the shoreline near Dover after crossing the Channel in a dinghy.

Last Friday at least 319 people made the perilous journey on 27 boats, with more than 6,100 arriving in the South East coast on small vessels so far this year.

After a lull in migrants attempting the dangerous crossing over the last few days, large numbers made renewed bids to get to the UK, taking advantage of the better weather, calm sea conditions and low winds.

7One witness said the dinghy would have sunk if UK officials had not intervenedCredit: SWNS:South West News Service 7The UK Border Force ship saving the group of migrants this morningCredit: Steve Finn Enhanced Dover checks cause miles-long queues in Kent

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Trump's Northern Ireland Envoy Issues Border Warning: Financial Times

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mick Mulvaney, has warned against creating a "hard border by accident" on the island, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

British Prime Minister Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proposing new legislation that would break the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit divorce treaty that seeks to avoid a physical customs border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

"The Trump administration, State Department and the U.S. Congress would all be aligned in the desire to see the Good Friday Agreement preserved to see the lack of a border maintained," Mulvaney said in an interview with the newspaper, referring to a peace accord signed by London, Dublin and Northern Ireland political leaders in 1998.

His remark comes two days after U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden warned Britain that it must honour the 1998 agreement as it withdraws from the European Union or there would be no separate U.S. trade deal.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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