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Channel migrant crisis: French MP warns gangs using Priti Patel’s Rwanda plan as a sales pitch

A French MP has warned that Priti Patel’s Rwanda migrant plan is being used by people smugglers to urge asylum seekers to bring forward their Channel crossing.

It is expected that the number of migrants who have made the perilous crossing during 2022 could hit 7,000 over the next few hours. 

French MP Pierre-Henri Dumont said Ms Patel’s controversial plan, which has been condemned by opposition politicians and human rights organisations, could be having the opposite effect than the hard-line measure was intended.

Mr Dumont told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme: ‘We are going to the summer so we will have less waves and less danger for the smugglers. So we will have more and more people going to cross.’

Mr Dumont said there was evidence that UK Government plans to process asylum applications in Rwanda was encouraging migrants to attempt the crossing before these measures took effect.

‘From what I heard from the migrants, it seems that the news of the new legislation in the UK with Rwanda gives the smugglers the availability of new commercial arguments (to) the migrants to urge them to cross quickly for them not to be sent away because of this new legislation.’

In 2020, 8,417 people arrived in the UK on small boats, increasing to 28,431 in 2021. 

A French MP has warned that Priti Patel’s plan to send cross channel asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing may not provide the deterrent intended

As an estimated 7,000 people have crossed the English Channel on small boats so far this year, it is feared a record-breaking number of people will make the journey

As an estimated 7,000 people have crossed the English Channel on small boats so far this year, it is feared a record-breaking number of people will make the journey

French MP Pierre-Henri Dumont said: 'From what I heard from the migrants, it seems that the news of the new legislation in the UK with Rwanda gives the smugglers the availability of new commercial arguments (to) the migrants to urge them to cross quickly for them not to be sent away because of this new legislation'

French MP Pierre-Henri Dumont said: ‘From what I heard from the migrants, it seems that the news of the new legislation in the UK with Rwanda gives the smugglers the availability of new commercial arguments (to) the migrants to urge them to cross quickly for them not to be sent away because of this new legislation’

On the ground in Calais and Dunkirk, charities said many asylum seekers are still planning to risk their lives in making the crossing despite the threat of being sent to Rwanda from the Home Secretary.  

The number of migrants crossing the Channel to reach the UK this year could top 7,000 by the end of the day.

The first five months of 2022 have seen last year’s number of arrivals triple, as asylum seekers continue to arrive on British shores, adamant that Priti Patel’s plan to send them to Rwanda won’t stop them.

Dozens of those making the perilous journey from Calais and Dunkirk told the Care4Calais charity that they were still prepared to take their chances.

‘I’m willing to risk it,’ said one. ‘Everyone is scared in the camp but I don’t think it will affect them [the decision to cross the Channel].’

It comes as more migrants travelled this morning as the weather improved – showing Nigel Farage was right to say high wind was the reason behind the recent pause in crossings rather than asylum seekers being scared away by Priti Patel’s planned policy to fly them to Rwanda for processing. 

The former Brexit Party leader filmed himself on a boat in the water today, in which he claimed ‘there have been spottings all over the place this morning’, on what he described as ‘another huge day’.

The group were this morning pictured being brought into Kent on board the Dover Lifeboat after rescue crews responded to an incident in the water in the early hours. That came after 254 people made the perilous journey yesterday, following an eleven day hiatus.

It takes the number to have been intercepted so far to 6,947 this year in 211 incidents, while last year a total of 28,526 migrants crossed the Channel in 2021 – significantly higher than the 8,410 who arrived in 2020.

The recent stoppage in crossings was being hailed by some Tories as an early victory for Home Secretary Priti Patel’s much-publicised new scheme.

But Mr Farage said last week the lull was instead the result of the weather conditions, warning there would be an influx once again as the seas became calmer. 

The number of migrants crossing the Channel to reach the UK this year could top 7,000 by the end of the day

 The number of migrants crossing the Channel to reach the UK this year could top 7,000 by the end of the day

The first five months of 2022 have seen last year's number of arrivals triple, as asylum seekers continue to arrive on British shores, adamant that Priti Patel's plan to send them to Rwanda won't stop them

The first five months of 2022 have seen last year’s number of arrivals triple, as asylum seekers continue to arrive on British shores, adamant that Priti Patel’s plan to send them to Rwanda won’t stop them

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force are seen as they brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force are seen as they brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

A man amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A man amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force vessels Speedwell (left), Valiant, and Typhoon (right) in the Port of Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in the Channel

Border Force vessels Speedwell (left), Valiant, and Typhoon (right) in the Port of Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard the Dover Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard the Dover Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are escorted from a Border Force vessel (left) onto a bus (right) as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are escorted from a Border Force vessel (left) onto a bus (right) as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda 

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard the Dover Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard the Dover Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

The Ministry of Defence took over control of migrant operations in April, when the Government also announced controversial plans to send some of those making the cross-Channel journey to Rwanda.

The Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill – dubbed the anti-refugee Bill by campaigners as it makes it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and includes powers to process asylum seekers overseas – became law on Thursday.

Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a ‘world-first’ agreement with Rwanda.

The deal will see the east African nation receive asylum seekers deemed by the UK to be inadmissible, having arrived ‘illegally’ under new immigration rules, but it has been met with criticism and is already facing legal challenges.

It comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said today that the UK needs to work closer with France to solve the migrant crisis.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Worthing, he said: ‘Nobody wants to see anybody making that perilous journey across the Channel and everybody wants to crack down on the criminal gangs that are driving this.

‘The best way to do that is to have an international co-ordinated criminal response. I have worked on international criminal organisations before when I was director of public prosecutions.

‘I know what can be done if you’ve got teams working together across Europe all the way along those routes absolutely bearing down on these criminal gangs and working very closely with the French authorities as well.’

Meanwhile, the French National Assembly member for Calais has warned crossings will continue to pick up in the coming months.

Pierre-Henri Dumont told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme: ‘We are going to the summer so we will have less waves and less danger for the smugglers. So we will have more and more people going to cross.’

Mr Dumont said there was evidence that UK Government plans to process asylum applications in Rwanda was encouraging migrants to attempt the crossing before these measures took effect.

‘From what I heard from the migrants, it seems that the news of the new legislation in the UK with Rwanda gives the smugglers the availability of new commercial arguments (to) the migrants to urge them to cross quickly for them not to be sent away because of this new legislation.’

Mr Dumont said that he did not believe the measure would deter people from trying to reach the UK.

‘When you leave your country because of flood, because of starvation, because you are not afraid of being hauled and sent back to another country, at least if you have a chance you will try,’ he added.

And a Conservative MP has said it is too early to know if the Government’s plan to process asylum claimants in Rwanda will deter migrants from attempting the Channel crossing.

Following the latest influx on Sunday and Morning, Tim Loughton, a member of the Commons home affairs committee, said while more arrivals could be expected, the Rwanda scheme represented a practical attempt to tackle the problem.

‘They are depressing scenes and they are going to get worse,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme.

‘It may seem a very robust, extreme scheme, but it is the first thing that has actually been put forward that would actually practically do something about this problem.

‘People in the south and up and down the country are just sick and tired of these people smugglers making a fortune out of human trafficking, this misery coming across the Channel.

‘The Rwanda scheme is an attempt to do something practical about it. But is very early days – it was only announced three weeks ago and it hasn’t started yet.’

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force are seen as they brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force are seen as they brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Young children are helped by military personnel amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Young children are helped by military personnel amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Military personnel arrive to assist a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Military personnel arrive to assist a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A young child is carried amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

Border Force brought Migrants in to Dover docks this morning the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda

A group of migrants are brought in to Dover Marina by Border Force after an 11 day hiatus in crossings last month

A group of migrants are brought in to Dover Marina by Border Force after an 11 day hiatus in crossings last month

A Royal Navy vessel tows boats thought to be used by migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in the Channel

A Royal Navy vessel tows boats thought to be used by migrants as they are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in the Channel

Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove MP, has said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes. Rightly, the British public has had enough.

‘Through our Nationality and Borders Bill, we’re cracking down on people smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into our country.’

UK officials, including a Border Force vessel, escorted seven small boats of men, women and children into Dover Harbour at around 12.30am on Sunday.

The last migrants to arrive at the port were a total of 263 across seven small boats on April 19 – and Ministry of Justice data revealed not a single adult or child made it across since.

Last week, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said that the drop to zero was evidence that Home Secretary Priti Patel’s scheme, which will see asylum seekers sent 4,000 miles to claim refugee status from Rwanda, is ‘working already’.

Mr Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, tweeted: ‘Priti’s migrant policy is working already. No illegal migrant crossing for a week and no income for people traffickers, freeing up civil servants to work on Ukrainian evacuees. We should offer the illegal migrants already here the option of returning to France or going to Rwanda.’

But Mr Farage told GB News: ‘There are some saying Rwanda is working, it’s a success because virtually no migrants have come now for the last six or seven days. Believe you me, I know this subject.

‘That is nothing to do with the prospect of being shipped off to Rwanda. It’s because there has been a persistent, strong, north-easterly wind in the English Channel. When it gets calm again, the boats will continue to come.’

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel

At least 230 migrants have crossed the English Channel yesterday after an eleven day hiatus in what was being claimed as an early victory for the Government's new scheme for sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

At least 230 migrants have crossed the English Channel yesterday after an eleven day hiatus in what was being claimed as an early victory for the Government’s new scheme for sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

UK officials, including a Border Force vessel, escorted seven small boats of men, women and children into Dover Harbour, Kent, at around 12.30am

UK officials, including a Border Force vessel, escorted seven small boats of men, women and children into Dover Harbour, Kent, at around 12.30am

The last migrants to arrive at Dover in Kent were a total of 263 across seven small boats on April 19 - and Ministry of Justice data revealed not a single adult or child made it across since

The last migrants to arrive at Dover in Kent were a total of 263 across seven small boats on April 19 – and Ministry of Justice data revealed not a single adult or child made it across since

It comes amid a new strategy to deal with Channel migrants launched on April 14 which saw the military take charge of attempts to control crossings with a joint task force drawn from the Navy, Army and Air Force in Kent

It comes amid a new strategy to deal with Channel migrants launched on April 14 which saw the military take charge of attempts to control crossings with a joint task force drawn from the Navy, Army and Air Force in Kent

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen

Home Secretary Priti Patel

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen (left) said that the drop in migrants arriving in small boats to zero was evidence that the Rwanda scheme from Home Secretary Priti Patel (right) is ‘working already’

Up to 300 military servicemen, Navy ships and surveillance drones are being deployed to the Channel after the Armed Forces took control with the Navy assuming Border Force’s responsibility for intercepting migrant boats.

An RAF Wildcat helicopter is now the key military asset in the air and is being used to carry out a final ‘sweep’ of the Channel at the end of each day to ensure all migrants – and their dinghies – have been recovered.

The helicopter is being aided by RAF drones operated out of Lydd Airport in Kent. Soldiers and airmen are also now being based at Dover to help UK Border Force staff with initial processing, and the military are able to issue directions to civilian staff of the UK Border Force, whose ships are remaining part of the Channel taskforce.

Seven ships including HMS Tyne, plus smaller boats and a helicopter are being made available to patrol the sea and coastline, so Border Force staff can be freed up for processing migrants once they arrive on land.

More than 6,500 migrants are thought to have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel. In 2021 some 28,526 migrants reached UK shores aboard dinghies and small boats – up from 8,417 in 2020.

The total number of migrants arriving so far this month has been 2,143 across 58 small boats, although the final day of arrivals to the present date was on April 19 when 263 were intercepted across seven small boats.  

The controversial agreement with the East African nation, which will see it receive asylum seekers deemed by the UK to have arrived 'illegally' and therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules, was signed on April 14

The controversial agreement with the East African nation, which will see it receive asylum seekers deemed by the UK to have arrived ‘illegally’ and therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules, was signed on April 14

Up to 300 military servicemen, Navy ships and surveillance drones are being deployed to the Channel after the Armed Forces took control with the Navy assuming Border Force's responsibility for intercepting migrant boats

Up to 300 military servicemen, Navy ships and surveillance drones are being deployed to the Channel after the Armed Forces took control with the Navy assuming Border Force’s responsibility for intercepting migrant boats

An RAF Wildcat helicopter is now the key military asset in the air and is being used to carry out a final 'sweep' of the Channel at the end of each day to ensure all migrants - and their dinghies - have been recovered

An RAF Wildcat helicopter is now the key military asset in the air and is being used to carry out a final ‘sweep’ of the Channel at the end of each day to ensure all migrants – and their dinghies – have been recovered

The helicopter is being aided by RAF drones operated out of Lydd Airport in Kent

The helicopter is being aided by RAF drones operated out of Lydd Airport in Kent

Soldiers and airmen are also now being based at Dover to help UK Border Force staff with initial processing, and the military are able to issue directions to civilian staff of the UK Border Force, whose ships are remaining part of the Channel taskforce

Soldiers and airmen are also now being based at Dover to help UK Border Force staff with initial processing, and the military are able to issue directions to civilian staff of the UK Border Force, whose ships are remaining part of the Channel taskforce

Seven ships including HMS Tyne, plus smaller boats and a helicopter are being made available to patrol the sea and coastline, so Border Force staff can be freed up for processing migrants once they arrive on land

Seven ships including HMS Tyne, plus smaller boats and a helicopter are being made available to patrol the sea and coastline, so Border Force staff can be freed up for processing migrants once they arrive on land

More than 6,500 migrants are thought to have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel. In 2021 some 28,526 migrants reached UK shores aboard dinghies and small boats - up from 8,417 in 2020

More than 6,500 migrants are thought to have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel. In 2021 some 28,526 migrants reached UK shores aboard dinghies and small boats – up from 8,417 in 2020

The total number of migrants arriving so far this month has been 2,143 across 58 small boats, although the final day of arrivals to the present date was on April 19 when 263 were intercepted across seven small boats

The total number of migrants arriving so far this month has been 2,143 across 58 small boats, although the final day of arrivals to the present date was on April 19 when 263 were intercepted across seven small boats

In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing. That was nearly four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the amount for 2020 (187)

In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing. That was nearly four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the amount for 2020 (187)

It was also the fourth highest monthly total recorded since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year

It was also the fourth highest monthly total recorded since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year

The figures for April 2022 mean the total number of migrants to arrive so far this year is 6,693 across 204 boats

The figures for April 2022 mean the total number of migrants to arrive so far this year is 6,693 across 204 boats

In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing. That was nearly four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the amount for 2020 (187).

It was also the fourth highest monthly total recorded since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year.

The figures for April 2022 mean the total number of migrants to arrive so far this year is 6,693 across 204 boats.

Some 1,425 of these had made it across since the Royal Navy took over control of migrant operations in the Channel on April 14.

Last month, the UK’s former Border Force chief Tony Smith told the Daily Mail that more than 100,000 Channel migrants will reach Britain this year.

Backing the Government’s asylum deal with Rwanda, Mr Smith said: ‘There comes a point where we need to get a grip of our border and stop the boats.

‘The numbers are going up, a fourfold increase already this year – 28,500 last year,’ he added. ‘That’s going to be over 100,000 this year just by migrant boats alone.’

Mr Smith’s prediction would be nearly 12 times the level seen in 2020, 54 times that of 2019 and more than 300 times that in 2018.

In January, it emerged that the Home Office had produced official papers warning that 65,000 migrants could cross this year. 

Some 1,425 of these had made it across since the Royal Navy took over control of migrant operations in the Channel on April 14

Some 1,425 of these had made it across since the Royal Navy took over control of migrant operations in the Channel on April 14

Earlier this month, the UK's former Border Force chief Tony Smith told the Daily Mail that more than 100,000 Channel migrants will reach Britain this year

Earlier this month, the UK’s former Border Force chief Tony Smith told the Daily Mail that more than 100,000 Channel migrants will reach Britain this year

Backing the Government's asylum deal with Rwanda, Mr Smith said: 'There comes a point where we need to get a grip of our border and stop the boats

Backing the Government’s asylum deal with Rwanda, Mr Smith said: ‘There comes a point where we need to get a grip of our border and stop the boats

'The numbers are going up, a fourfold increase already this year – 28,500 last year,' he added. 'That's going to be over 100,000 this year just by migrant boats alone'

‘The numbers are going up, a fourfold increase already this year – 28,500 last year,’ he added. ‘That’s going to be over 100,000 this year just by migrant boats alone’

Mr Smith's prediction would be nearly 12 times the level seen in 2020, 54 times that of 2019 and more than 300 times that in 2018

Mr Smith’s prediction would be nearly 12 times the level seen in 2020, 54 times that of 2019 and more than 300 times that in 2018

A Government spokesperson said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable. Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes.

‘This week, the Nationality and Borders Act completed its passage through Parliament. 

‘Through this landmark legislation, the Government is cracking down on people smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into our country.’

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