No migrants have been deported to safe countries in a new crackdown on "inadmissible" asylum claims because EU governments including France will not accept them, Home Office figures show.
The disclosure came as Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said the British public was "absolutely fed up" with the surging numbers of illegal migrants crossing the Channel to claim asylum in the UK.
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, also spoke by phone on Monday about the "concerning rise" in Channel crossings by migrants and the need for both countries to "deter [them] from attempting this perilous journey", Downing Street disclosed.
The data, revealed on Tuesday by The Telegraph, show that none of the 1,503 migrants who reached the UK, largely in small boats or lorries across the Channel, have been returned to safe countries despite all their asylum claims being judged "inadmissible".
The Home Office strengthened post-Brexit rules from Jan 1 so that, once a claim was rejected, the migrant could be returned to any safe European country where it could be shown they had passed through and should have claimed asylum.
The new rules were designed to replace the Dublin Agreement, which operated when the UK was part of the EU and under which European countries agreed to take back migrants from the UK if there was evidence they had or should have claimed asylum during their journeys.
However, no countries have yet agreed successor deals to take back migrants, who are now crossing the Channel in record numbers. It leaves the UK with a major headache, with a growing population of Channel migrants whom it is struggling to return to safe nations.
The Home Office documents show 1,503 "notices of intent" were issued to migrants whose claims were deemed inadmissible in the first three months of this year. However, the report admitted: "Over the quarter, there were no returns on inadmissibility grounds."
Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "The absence of returns of those who have come here illegally from safe countries since the start of the year underlines the Government’s failure to regain the control of our borders that they promised.
"Dover has become the gateway to the UK for illegal entrants. On immigration control, the public were clearly sold a pup."
The number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats is running at two and a half times last year’s rate. More than 4,500 have reached the UK this year, compared with around 1,750 in the same period last year.
In the Commons on Monday, Tory MPs voiced concern at the apparent failure to get a grip of the crisis with Sir Edward Leigh saying: "Border Force is little more than a taxi service for illegal migrants."
It followed the revelation at the weekend that the Border Force vessel Valiant entered French waters to pick up migrants from a boat and took them to Dover – a move that undermined UK criticism of the French for "shepherding" them to UK waters.
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, who has ordered an investigation into the incident, said the Valiant’s manoeuvre was "absolutely wrong".
"The British public are fed up, absolutely fed up and demoralised with what they have been seeing," she said. "People that are seeking asylum should be claiming asylum in the first safe country. They should not be making dangerous crossings that have led to catastrophic and devastating loss of life too many times."
Tony Smith, a former director general of the Border Force, told The Telegraph that only a diplomatic settlement with France agreeing to take back migrants would solve the immediate crisis but Britain might have to offer some inducement in order to secure such a deal.
"We need the agreements of other countries to take them back regardless of what we do with our own law. For me, the only answer is a political agreement with the French, and I don’t know what we have got in the locker that would persuade them," he said.
Ms Patel is due to introduce proposed new laws later this year that would allow the Government to refuse asylum to anyone who arrived illegally in the UK and is proposing longer sentences for those who enter illicitly as well as a maximum of life terms for those who smuggle them.
Kent County Council warned on Monday that it may not be able to accept unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who arrive on the Kent coast, saying the service has reached "breaking point for the second time in under a year".
The council is bringing legal action against the Home Office in an attempt to force it to disperse the children to other parts of the UK after claiming ministers have broken their promises to do so.
Roger Gough, the leader of the Tory-controlled council, said it had 403 children under its care when that should be limited to 231.