Up to 100 migrants have been ferried into Dover Marina in Kent by Border Force officials after being intercepted in the English Channel this morning.
The warm weather appears to have inspired people smuggling criminals to embark on yet more trips, with authorities braced for more boats to attempt the journey throughout the rest of today.
It’s part of a disturbing surge in migrant crossings that has been noted by observers for some months. Just six days ago this site reported on a record-breaking day of illegal arrivals across the Channel as 183 migrants swarmed into the country by small boat.
Those figures meant the UK had now seen two and a half times more migrants land in Dover in the first three months of this year compared to 2020 – a pace that would see 22,000 land in Britain this year if it keeps up all year.
Those eye-watering numbers are the equivalent of twenty-two military battalions, five fully-staffed brigades, or two army divisions.
Some suggest that migrant numbers will inevitably surge ahead of the roll-out of new Home Office immigration measures intended to combat the rising tide of illegal immigration.
The Home Secretary’s New Plan for Immigration will make it easier for the government to give illegals the boot and will start treating those who enter the country via people smuggling differently to genuine asylum seekers who enter via legally permitted routes.
It will also give Border Force beefed up Australian-style powers to intercept and redirect vessels, but it’s not yet clear if those powers will be routinely used as a matter of policy – as they were deployed successfully in Australia’s struggles with illegal migration.
Some remain sceptical that the measures will be sufficient to turn a corner in the UK’s growing struggle with illegal immigration. Top Tory backbencher Sir Edward Leigh has warned Priti Patel that “there is no point in introducing more and more penalties and laws unless we are prepared to deport people.”