In a dramatic sign the government’s concerted efforts to stop illegal migration across the English Channel is failing miserably, at least 430 migrants reached the UK on Monday (July 19), a new record for a single day.
The new record was made all the more dramatic as 50 people were seen landing in one beach, at Dungeness in Kent, alone.
The group, which included children, had all crossed the English Channel in one dinghy.
A day earlier, Sunday (July 18), 241 migrants had made the potentially dangerous journey from France to England across the Channel.
There are reports of further beach landings today (July 20) at Dungeness and Dover.
Overall, in 2021 nearly 8,000 migrants have reached the UK from France by crossing the English Channel in 345 boats.
Despite involving the armed forces in deterrence-focused operations, the Home Office’s efforts have clearly failed, as demonstrated by the latest record number of beach landings.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has vowed to render Channel crossings “unviable”, with new legislation designed to criminalize knowingly entering British territory without permission.
The Nationality and Borders Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Commons, will mean migrants entering without permission could be jailed for up to four years.
In promoting the proposed legislation, Dan O-Mahoney, who was appointed Clandestine Channel Threat commander last year, claimed it would "protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings".
But Amnesty International’s Steve Valdez-Symonds dismissed the Nationality and Borders Bill as an “extremely reckless and dangerous response” to the issue which neglects to tackle the problem at source.