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British government called on to bring back wartime patrols to halt illegal migrants

A British politician is urging the U.K. government to bring back security measures not seen since World War I on the English Channel in a bid to counter terror threats and the arrival of illegal migrants.

Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke said Tuesday an armed Sea Marshall force should police the channel to target people-traffickers who may be harboring terrorists.

He said smugglers are traveling from France in small boats and dropping immigrants in quiet bays dotted along the South English coastline.

The politician who represents the coastal constituency of Dover said a resurrection of wartime measures is required.

"A century ago the Dover Patrol kept the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel safe in time of war. Now we need to declare war on the cross Channel people-traffickers with a New Dover Patrol. We need more ships on patrol in the English Channel," he said in a statement.

Elphicke told CNBC he has sent a report to the U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd detailing how the threat of people-trafficking by yachts and small boats is on the rise.

And he wants British naval resource currently operating in the Mediterranean to operate closer to home.

"The Government should recall Royal Naval vessels currently patrolling the borders of Mediterranean nations - who have more border control vessels than we do - to keep the English Channel safe and secure."

Photographer | Collection | Getty Images

The French government has already placed sea marshals on cross channel ferries sailing between England and France.

Armed French personnel are not allowed on British waters, meaning the marshals must be winched on to ferries from helicopters as they enter French territory.

Elphicke said Britain must now follow France's lead and allow marshals with weapons to guard sea crossings and the Channel Tunnel.

"France takes the threat of attacks on ferries and cross Channel shipping very seriously. So should we. It is now urgent for the Government to review its threat assessment and consider joining France in having armed guards accompany ferries and review security arrangements in the Channel Tunnel."

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