Government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ pledge falls short as thousands continue to cross the English Channel
Despite the Government’s pledge to curb illegal migration, over 25,000 migrants have successfully crossed the English Channel into the United Kingdom this year. This ongoing issue has seen hundreds of individuals arriving on British shores even on single days, with 537 people recorded on a recent Saturday and around 350 more following shortly after, as intercepted by Border Force vessels and brought ashore to Dover Harbour.
The observed crossings indicate a persistent failure in securing the nation’s borders against illegal migration. The migrants, largely propelled by criminal gangs, continue to find alternative launch points along the French coast, notably farther south due to increased French police patrols around Dunkirk and Calais.
The most recent efforts to dismantle migrant camps, such as the large encampment near Dunkirk last week by about 1,000 French CRS riot police, only provide a temporary respite but fail to address the root causes of this crisis. The makeshift camp was home to several hundred migrants, biding their time to cross illegally into the UK.
The number of crossings, although showing a 25% decrease compared to the same period last year, still reflects a significant failure in light of the Government’s high-profile ‘Stop the Boats’ initiative. This initiative was further enforced by the Illegal Migration Bill, which became law in July, bestowing the Home Secretary with the legal duty to detain and remove anyone entering the UK illegally. However, despite these legislative measures, the continuing arrivals underscore the inadequate enforcement and the monumental challenge the UK faces in managing its borders.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who had earlier this year pronounced the containment of illegal small boat crossings as one of his government’s top priorities, claimed over the weekend that his plan is “starting to work”. Yet, the persistent influx of migrants across the Channel starkly contrasts with this optimistic outlook, raising questions about the effectiveness and the execution of the government’s immigration policies.
The ongoing crisis underscores the urgent need for a more robust and effective strategy to tackle the root causes propelling individuals to undertake such perilous journeys, as well as a stronger cooperation with French authorities to deter criminal gangs facilitating these crossings. Source