Record 3,500 Illegal Boat Migrants Land in Britain Last Month, as Total Tops 9,300 For the Year

DOVER, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Migrant men arrive at Dover Port after being picked up in the English Channel by the Border Force on July 21, 2021 in Dover, England. On Monday, 430 migrants crossed the channel from France, a record for a single day. To stem the rising numbers, …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Another grim illegal boat migration record was set in July as 3,500 crossed the English Channel from France to Britain, outpacing the previous monthly record by over a thousand.

To date, some 9,300 illegal migrants have made the dangerous journey in often unseaworthy rubber dinghies set off from the beaches of France, as another 3,500 were brought ashore by the British Border Force last month.

The record number of crossings, reported by the Daily Mail, far surpassed the previous record which was set in June, when 2,179 made the journey in 92 boats. It is the second month in a row in which more migrants landed than in the entire year of 2019 when 1,890 boat migrants were recorded to have reached the UK.

The 9,300 migrant landings have already far outpaced the previous yearly record as well, which was set last year when 8,410 illegal migrants arrived in Britain by boat. Predictions have estimated that by the end of the year, between twenty and thirty thousand could reach the UK.

Typically, the number of migrants attempting the 21-mile journey across the English Channel increases during late August and September when the waters reach their warmest.

As the weather conditions have improved, some 2,000 prospective migrants have begun amassing in camps along the French coast in apparent preparation to make the illegal journey.

The latest record comes after Priti Patel’s Home Office agreed to send another £54.2 million ($75mn) to France to step up border patrols on the French coast to stem the flow of illegal migration. This is on top of the £28 million payoff to France last November.

Many, including Brexit leader Nigel Farage, have cast doubt on whether the handout will actually result in lower numbers of crossings as the French Navy is likely to continue escorting boats into British waters, where they are picked up and ferried ashore by the Border Force or the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The record waves of migrants have forced the Home Office to begin block-booking hotels across England to house the mostly young male migrants as traditional facilities have been overwhelmed.

On Friday, the Melton Times reported that one such hotel, the Scalford Country House Hotel has signed an agreement to house illegal migrants until at least November. The stately home turned luxury hotel sits upon eight acres of gardens, built as a hunting lodge by Major Mann Thompson.

The property is notable for being a frequent haunt for the former King of England, Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson.

Analysis conducted by the National Audit Office has found that the average cost of accomodating an asylum seeker in the UK has jumped from £437 per month to £560 a month ($780), without even accounting for the weekly stipend of  £39.63 ($220/month) provided at taxpayer expense.

Home Office figures showed that in total, the asylum system has cost the taxpayer £956million ($1.3bn) in 2019-20, alone.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The asylum system is being exploited by criminal gangs who facilitate dangerous, unnecessary and illegal small boat crossings.

“Our Nationality and Borders Bill will fix this broken system to deter these crossings.

“In the meantime, due to the unprecedented demand, we need to use temporary facilities such as hotels to manage demands on our existing accommodation and the immigration detention estate.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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