Priti Patel faces three legal challenges as migrant charities attempt to bring down the policy for turning boats away in the Channel.

Priti Patel’s strategy of turning away small boats in the English Channel has been criticised by charities today. 

Three organisations have filed legal challenges, alleging that Priti Patels’ strategy is illegal under maritime laws. A combined case from “Care4Calais” and “Channel Rescue” is among the charities engaged in the legal action, while “Freedom from Torture” is the third. 

Government lawyers have told Patel, according to the Guardian newspaper, that her policy is likely to face several legal challenges. 

“The Home Office has widely briefed the press and parliament to say that they have a policy in place that allows them to force boats carrying asylum seekers to leave UK territorial waters.,” a lawyer representing one of the cases told the Guardian.

“Any policy is likely to breach the UK’s obligations under international and domestic law, and that any attempts to push back boats may well put the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in real danger,” the plaintiffs in their lawsuit argue. 

“To protect lives and break the business model of criminal gangs facilitating these crossings it is right that we continue to evaluate and test a range of safe and legal options to find ways of stopping small boats making this dangerous and unnecessary journey,” a spokesperson for the Home Office said.