Flotilla of more than 50 migrants reaches Britain in early hours

More than fifty migrants arrived in Dover after crossing the English Channel in the early hours of Monday morning.

An upturn in sailing conditions encouraged at least five boats to attempt to journey, all of which were escorted across by French authorities into the hands of UK Border Force who detained the migrants and brought them ashore.

Another 126 were prevented from crossing by French authorities, the Home Office confirmed.

Five boats had been brought into Dover Marina in Kent before 0700 (GMT) with video footage from onlookers showing one vessel was occupied solely of what appears to be all men of African origin.

The men were wearing masks, hats and gloves as they were escorted to shore by immigration officials.

Despite the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, high numbers of individuals are still successfully crossing the Channel to reach Britain with over 300 arrivals so far this year.

Over 1,000 have now attempted the journey in 2021, a figure that is up on the same period last year by 50 per cent.

Last year was already a record year for arrivals as a recent Europol report revealed over 15,000 migrants attempted the crossing in 2020 with 8,417 successfully landing on British soil.

A fortnight ago immigration officials oversaw the arrival of 92 migrants to Britain, whilst the same number were intercepted mid-crossing and returned by French authorities to the continent.

Seven Albanian stowaways were also recently located on board a cargo ship heading for Portland.

Since Brexit, the Home Office now has new powers to automatically void asylum applications if the individual has already passed through a safe country on their way to Britain.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has pledged to fix Britain’s broken asylum policy and crack down on people smugglers with further new legislation to be introduced this year and the launch of a new state-of-the-art command centre.

The new hub will co-ordinate surveillance and engagement using light vessels and drones in coordination with French authorities to detect attempted crossing in the Channel.