183 more illegal boat migrants reached the UK in six vessels yesterday, with French authorities intercepting one crossing involving another estimated 50 migrants.
The numbers break the 2021 record for daily arrivals and almost match the figure for all of March 2020 combined.
Migration Watch figures reveal that the current tally as of yesterday now stands at 956 arrivals by small boat this year, compared to just 7 who arrived during the same period in 2018 and 378 who landed before March 23 last year.
That’s a two-and-a-half times increase since 2020, and if the pace continues for the rest of this year it would leave Britain on course for 22,036 illegal boat arrivals by the end of December.
That’s the same as twenty-two military battalions, five fully-staffed brigades, or two army divisions.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel has today outlined new government plans to tackle the growing immigration crisis, but offers little confidence that the government is prepared to get a grip on the surging number of arrivals across the Channel.
She promises new measures which will make it easier to deport foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers, along with new powers for Border Force to “stop and seize small boats and search containers for hidden migrants”.
But it’s not yet clear if the government is set to adopt the Australian approach, which saw Naval vessels intercept the vessels and turn them around so the illegal migrants could not step foot on Australian land and claim asylum rights.
Instead it aims to treat migrants who arrive via illegal routes differently to those who come via safe and legal means – which seems to suggest little internal confidence that the tide of illegal entry may yet be curbed by decisive government action..
The new measures include denying illegal migrants “immediate” access to the asylum system and increasing penalties for those who sneak in illegally without “valid” asylum reasons.