The Prime Minister’s recent boast that his ‘Stop the Boats’ policies are working, appears to be in tatters, after a huge surge in Channel migrant arrivals.
Last month, Rishi Sunak claimed those policies were behind a 20 per cent fall in the number of people reaching the UK in small boats.
But a surge in arrivals in recent weeks has seen that gap disappear.
GB News can reveal that around 13,000 people have now crossed the English Channel since the beginning of this year.
The figure is the same as the number who came across in dinghies at this point last year.
In the past four days, more than 1,500 people have made the illegal crossing from France.
That surge in numbers, follows a persistent spell of predominantly bad weather, in which northerly winds had made the Channel largely impassable for the dinghies.
One maritime expert GB News has spoken to said: “The temporary fall in small boat crossings is a lot to do with the weather, and probably very little to do with government policy.”
The Prime Minister said the UK’s returns agreement with Albania, better cooperation with France, and the threat that those arriving illegally could be sent to Rwanda, was proving to be a deterrent.
Responding to this latest surge in small boat arrivals, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “The Prime Minister and I are absolutely clear, we’ve got to stop the boats, that’s why we’re working very hard to introduce new legislation.
The rapid increase in small boat arrivals is just the latest setback to the Government’s plans to tackle the Channel migrant crisis
“Last year there were 45,000 people who arrived illegally, costing us £6 million a day in hotel accommodation, this has to stop.”
The rapid increase in small boat arrivals is just the latest setback to the Government’s plans to tackle the Channel migrant crisis.
In recent days, the Court of Appeal ruled the deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful.
The Home Office is planning an appeal to the Supreme Court.
And in Parliament, Peers are continuing to block the progress of the Government’s Illegal Migration bill.
Weather conditions are set to deteriorate in the week ahead, with winds increasing in the Channel.
But with the height of the Summer approaching, long spells of flat-clam weather will pave the way for many thousands more to attempt the crossing.
Countries around the Mediterranean have reported a huge influx of migrants crossing the Med from north Africa in recent weeks.
Many of those people are likely to head for more affluent countries in northern Europe, including the UK.
If the numbers crossing the Channel continue to increase beyond last year’s totals, Rishi Sunak will face the prospect of failing to meet one of his government’s key pledges.