UK: Illegal Migrant Crossings Down 70 Per Cent After French Pay-Off, Report Claims

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Britain may finally be making some progress on the Channel migrant crisis, with boat crossings reportedly 70 per cent following a £28m pay-off to the French authorities.

While the Boris Johnson administration still seems unwilling to countenance simply turning boats back to France and the Low Countries from which illegal migrants set sail, its decision to pay the French to stop them from using their coastline as a staging post — on top of millions already handed over to strengthen security in and around Calais — does appear to have borne some fruit.

Attempted crossings are up 50 per cent on the same period last year, to 950, but according to the Telegraph some 70 per cent have been prevented. The Home Office is also preparing to attempt the removal of illegals who have arrived under post-Brexit legislation disallowing asylum applications from migrants travelling to Britain from safe countries by sea.

“As a result of our improved intelligence-sharing with the French and enhanced surveillance, we have stopped approximately 700 crossings in 2021, despite there being a 50 per cent increase in crossing attempts on last year,” said Chris Philp, junior minister at the Priti Patel-led Home Office.

“However, we are not complacent. We will step up our activity into spring and are aware there is much more to do to make this route non-viable, and target the vile organised crime gangs who facilitate these dangerous crossings,” he continued, adding that “Now we have left the EU we have changed the law meaning those who have travelled through safe countries will have their asylum cases treated as inadmissible.”

It has hitherto proved difficult to remove bogus asylum seekers even after their claims have been rejected, however, with judges blocking flights back even to perfectly safe European Union member-states such as Spain due to deportees receiving insufficiently lavish assistance on arrival in Madrid, for example.

Overall, deportations even of migrants convicted of crimes in Britain plummeted by 79 per cent in 2020. The trend may be set to continue this year, too, with the courts recently blocking the removal of a double rapist because he might not receive adequate mental health care in his native Somalia.

“The Government are working as fast as possible to fix the broken asylum system to make it firm and fair,” Philp claimed.

Despite the Home Office’s tough words on tackling people-smugglers, however, their punishments are typically fairly light.

The government-friendly Daily Mail, for example, reported at the beginning of 2020 on Home Secretary Patel’s boast that 100 people-smugglers had been imprisoned “for a total of 320 years” over the course of 2019. While at first blush this is an impressive number, it is less impressive once those 320 years are divided among all 100 convicts — and much less impressive once the fact that inmates are typically entitled to automatic early release on licence halfway through their terms is taken into account.

By way of example, two Ukrainian people-smugglers who smuggled Albanian illegal aliens to England from the Netherlands were handed terms of just two-and-a-half years in November 2020 — meaning they should be out on licence before 2021 is out if the standard halfway point release rules are applied.

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