Over 1,100 Illegal Boat Migrants Land in Britain in Just Two Days

DOVER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Migrants are brought into Dover docks by Border Force staff on September 9, 2021 in Dover, England. Facing a continued rise in migrant arrivals across the English Channel, the British government has authorised its Border Force to turn back boats while at sea, in some …
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Over one thousand illegal boat migrants landed in Britain between Friday and Saturday, as the migrant crisis in the English Channel shows no signs of abating any time soon.

In a two day span, 1,115 illegal migrants successfully reached England after travelling by small boat from France, with 491 people arriving on Saturday and 624 on Friday.

The latest crossings take the total number of boat migrants for the year to over 18,000, according to estimates from the BBC. This is more than double the figure for the entire year of 2020, when around 8,460 crossed the Channel by sea.

Speaking from a beach in Kent on Friday, Brexit leader Nigel Farage reiterated his prediction that 30,000 illegals would land in Britain this year, adding that it could be as high as fifty or sixty thousand next year.

Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester that the government will be partnering with the Armed Forces to turn the boats back to France. The Home Secretary did not give a timeline for when the policy would actually be put into place, however.

Mr Farage said that the “hollow words” from Priti Patel and Boris Johnson at the Tory conference “mean nothing”, and that the migrant crisis will only “get worse” and possibly end up becoming comparable to the mass flows seen in the Mediterranean.

In July, the Home Office agreed to send another £54.2 million ($75mn) to France to step up border patrols on the French coast to prevent illegal migration, on top of the £28 million in payoffs sent last November.

Priti Patel has said that she will withhold the latest handout if significant progress in French enforcement is not seen.

On Sunday, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin said that the British government has so far not paid “one euro” from the latest deal, while claiming that France has stepped up patrols and dismantled migrant camps in order to prevent more crossings.

“The British government has not paid, for now, what was promised. So, for the moment, there is not a euro that has been paid by the British government following the deal — more or less — that we negotiated with Ms Patel,” Darmanin told Sky News.

“The English are people of honour, so I am certain that it is an accounting delay,” he quipped.

Attempting to downplay tensions between the United Kingdom and France, which have been heightened over Brexit disputes surrounding access to British fisheries for French fishermen, Tory frontbencher and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng claimed that “we’ve worked very effectively with the French government so far” — despite the manifest failure to prevent the migrant crisis from getting steadily worse.

The cabinet minister highlighted joint operations which have led to the arrests of nearly 300 people, with 65 convictions and the prevention of 13,500 illegal crossings, suggesting that this drop in the proverbial bucket “is a good collaborative relationship and we obviously want to improve that.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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