Migrants intercepted in the Channel near Dover
A boat carrying a group of suspected migrants has been intercepted in the Channel.
Eight men and a teenager were found in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat off the Kent coast at 06:00 BST.
They presented themselves as Iraqi nationals. The Home Office said they were transferred to a Border Force cutter and brought to Dover.
"All nine were medically assessed and passed to immigration officials for interview," the spokesman added.
At least 502 people, including more than 35 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.