Over 5,000 Boat Migrants Land in the UK, as Crisis Hits Historic Highs

DOVER, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Newly arrived migrants wait to disembark a Border Force vessel after being picked up in a dinghy in the English Channel on June 09, 2021 in Dover, England. More than 500 migrants arrived in the final week of May, according to the UK Home Office, …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Over 5,000 illegal boat migrants have been recorded landing on British sands since January, more than doubling the total at this time during last year’s record wave of illegal migration.

With the arrival of 110 boat migrants on Monday — ferried to shore per usual by Britain’s Border Force — the total number of aliens crossing the English Channel from France has reached 5,034, according to an analysis conducted by The Times newspaper. A further 80 people crossed to the UK in three boats on Tuesday.

In contrast, at this point last year some 2,126 migrants had successfully reached the UK by setting sail in small rubber boats from the beaches of France.

As with last year, it is expected that the waves of migration will only increase during the Summer months when conditions on the seas make the crossing in rubber dinghies more feasible.

The Conservative MP for Dover — the main landing site of illegal boat migrants in Britain — Natalie Elphicke said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government should follow the lead of Australia and stop taking migrants ashore in the UK.

She argued that if the migrants are processed at off-shore sites it will act as a deterrent for further boatloads coming to the country.

“Small boat crossings have gone on for too long,” Elphicke said, adding: “It’s time these crossings came to an end. We should look at more robust deterrents that have been adopted elsewhere — notably in Australia, where a robust stance has saved lives and massively reduced illegal immigration.

“Everyone knows that these crossings will only come to an end when migrants know that they have no chance of breaking into Britain in this way, and the criminal gangs stop profiting.”

Australia has all but shut down illegal boat migration since the enaction of the Operation Sovereign Borders policy from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The policy mandates that illegal aliens are sent back to their country of origin or to a third country for their asylum claims to be processed, a stark contrast to the UK which takes migrants into the country to be processed.

In May of last year, Mr Abbott said that the UK must adopt a turn back the boats approach, saying: “To stop people from setting out for Britain in unseaworthy boats, you have to ensure that they never arrive; or that if they do arrive they are swiftly sent back. Especially if people setting out for Britain in overloaded dinghies are going to be rescued and taken where they want to go, the boats will keep coming.”

For months, Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to reform the UK’s “broken” immigration system. However, her so-called “New Plan for Immigration” has yet to be considered by Parliament.

The post-Brexit immigration plan would prevent migrants who travel through safe third countries, such as France, from receiving asylum status in the UK. Patel has also pushed for the imposition of life sentences for people smugglers assisting migrants to enter the country illegally.

However, it is understood that the Home Office will only take the proposed action of processing migrants offshore floated by the Dover MP under a last resort scenario. Exactly how many migrants will trigger such a decision remains to be seen. It also remains doubtful whether the home secretary would take the unilateral decision of sending the boats back to France.

A spokesman for the Home Office said that in conjunction with French authorities, some 5,000 additional migrants have been prevented from entering into British waters, saying: “We are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people-smuggling.

“Inaction is not an option while people are dying. The government is bringing legislation forward through our new plan for immigration, which will break the business model of these heinous people-smuggling networks.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.