LONDON: According to Home Office numbers released on Tuesday, a total of 5,049 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel this year.
According to The Independent, 113 migrants were observed in three boats on Monday, implying an average of 38 people per boat.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is determined to cracking down on migrants crossing the channel illegally in tiny boats as one of his five important priorities while in office.
Sunak, on the other hand, said last week that his bold policy plans “won’t happen overnight” and declined to guarantee that they will be completed by the time of the next general election.
The data, according to Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, “show the full scale of the Tory failure to get any grip on channel crossings.”
“All they offer is rhetoric and gimmicks instead of any kind of serious plan,” she continued. It’s no surprise that Rishi Sunak is backtracking on his vow to halt the boats this year.”
Nearly 45,000 migrants have arrived in the UK via the channel crossing since the government signed a deal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda more than a year ago.
The Home Office’s permanent secretary, Matthew Rycroft, revealed in November that Britain had already paid Rwanda £140 million ($174 million) under the deal, but questioned the policy’s value for money.
“While we are confident that some of the elements already introduced — stepping up the partnership with the French government to increase intercepts in the channel — are having an impact,” the prime minister’s official spokesman told The Independent, “we know that this will be an incremental approach.”
The spokesman went on to say that it was “too early to draw conclusions at this stage” on the impact of the government’s policy change announcement, “given we know the impact weather can have on weekly, even daily, crossings.”
“It will be the culmination of all the different policies we are introducing that will have the long-term impact the public wants,” he added.
In January, the High Court in London gave permission to a group of asylum seekers to challenge a finding that Britain’s proposal to send refugees to Rwanda is legal.
Sunak said on Thursday that he expects a legal battle over the “novel, untested, and ambitious” Illegal Migration Bill that is currently being debated in parliament, and that an interim judgment from the European Court of Human Rights against the policy, as happened with the Rwanda scheme, “may well be.”
The Braintree District Council said on Wednesday that it had been granted an injunction hearing at the High Court, and that the Home Office had agreed not to relocate any migrants to the Wethersfield site until until that date, according to The Independent.