Migrant crisis: 200 people in one day as ruthless traffickers seek to flood the Channel, overwhelming Border Force

A staggering 200 people attempted to cross the Channel on Friday, as migrants and their ruthless traffickers looked to make the most of last week’s good weather.  

With winter behind us, the signs are that the record-breaking flood of migrants crossing the Channel will soon become a torrent.

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In response to the escalating crisis, the Sun reports French authorities have mobilised 450 additional officers. They and their British counterparts are dealing with new tactics being used by the people smugglers to get as many people across the water and into Britain. 

“It appears to be a tactic to try to overwhelm both the French and British authorities so at least some get through,” said a source based in Calais.

Friday’s armada of migrants was split between a whopping 13 light boats, making it harder for Border Force and French patrols to pick them all up.

Last week, immigration minister, Chris Philp said he wanted to “break the business model of smuggling gangs and protect the lives of those they endanger”. On this evidence, he and the government will fail.

The stats speak for themselves, already 1,500 people have attempted to make it to Britain from Calais, compared to 500 by the same stage last year, a threefold increase.

Friday’s tally shows a dramatic escalation within a few days. The BBC reported mid-week of 200 people trying to make it across during the previous couple of days.

148 boat migrants were intercepted on Tuesday, followed by 81 the next day. French authorities said they had stopped seven boats from reaching Britain with 142 people aboard in total.

The government is holding out hope new laws enabling the authorities to quickly deport migrants back to a safe another country they are known to have travelled through on their way to the UK – i.e. France – will act as a deterrent.

Most of these powers are still to come via the Sovereign Borders Bill, but since Britain left the EU’s structures on the last day of 2020 authorities can already deport migrants more easily.

However, there is no evidence to suggest any of the illegal arrivals in 2021 have been sent back.