25,000 Illegal Migrants Landed on British Shores This Year, as Sunak’s ‘Stop the Boats’ Pledge Sinks

A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat traveling from the coast of France and heading in the direction of Dover, Kent. Picture date: Tuesday August 29, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

More than 25,000 illegal boat migrants have landed on British shores since the start of the year as Rishi Sunak continues to fail to solve the crisis in the English Channel.

As leading Tory figures gathered for the party conference in Manchester to set their agenda going into next year’s general election, one of Sunak’s top pledges to the public remains unfulfilled. At the start of the year, Sunak, after being installed in Downing Street against the will of the Conservative party membership, promised to “stop the boats” and urged the public to hold him accountable if his government failed to deliver.

Ten months later, there appears to be no end in sight to the continued waves of migrant boats landing on British beaches, with Monday’s crossings taking the total to over 25,000 since Sunak’s speech in January, according to calculations from the Press Association.

The prime minister has attempted to claim that his policies have resulted in a reduction over last year, with 33,000 crossing at this point in 2022, the number of illegal crossings of the Channel this year is still significantly higher than in 2021 when 17,085 landed by the end of September and in 2020 when approximately 7,000 had crossed.

It is unclear which policies Sunak can point to in order to convince voters of his government’s efficacy. Besides handing over another £500 million to France to supposedly increase coastal patrols against people smuggling networks in and around the Calais region, the government’s main deterrence policies of sending boat migrants to Rwanda or housing them on offshore barges remain in legal limbo.

Perhaps casting herself as a potential replacement at the head of the party, Sunak’s home secretary, Suella Braverman, delivered a forceful speech last week in which she declared that multiculturalism has failed, that international asylum laws need to be amended to prevent economic migrants from gaming the refugee system, and that foreigners should not be able to claim asylum merely on the basis of being gay or a woman.

Yet, for all of Braverman’s tough rhetoric, she has not been successful in reducing illegal immigrants crossing the Channel, which as Home Secretary, is her responsibility. Migration Watch UK in responding to Braverman’s speech congratulated her passion but said, ultimately, it was hard to believe it would lead to anything.

They said in a statement seen by Breitbart News; “There is no doubting Suella Braverman’s desire and commitment to deal with illegal immigration. However, our biggest reservation is that we have heard it all before.

“We were promised control of our borders, yet we have witnessed the ongoing, astonishing disorder in the Channel and a staggering net migration figure of 606,000. Regrettably, the highly promoted points-based system has fallen short of resembling the effective Australian model. It’s essential that we move beyond rhetoric and take concrete actions to ensure genuine border control.”

Indeed, the Tory conference in Manchester has demonstrated that the supposedly conservative party continues to be deeply divided on the issue, with globalist figures such as Sunak’s powerful Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt throwing cold water on Braverman’s tough stance, saying that he “wouldn’t use her words” to describe the migrant crisis. Braverman’s predecessor, Priti Patel, also went after Braverman, using her background as a child of immigrants to claim that multiculturalism had succeeded in Britain.

It is also expected that despite longstanding promises from the party to reduce legal immigration, net migration is expected to once again surpass half a million this year. While the party pledged to cut immigration in its election manifestos for the 2010, 2015, and 2017 general elections, David Cameron’s right-hand man George Osbourne, admitted in 2017 that despite public promises to voters, the Tories never had any intention of actually reducing the numbers.

Alongside the economy and cost of living crisis, the failure of the Conservatives over the past decade to deliver on migration threatens to be a key issue as Sunak heads into a general election next year. According to an Ipsos survey published last month, dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of immigration has hit its highest level since the months leading up to the Brexit referendum in 2016, with 66 per cent of the public disapproving of Sunak’s performance.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter: or e-mail to: kzindulka@breitbart.com


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