Leaked Border Force documents revealed a projected surge to approximately 35,000 this year, contradicting Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s commitment to “stop the boats” by the next election.
Concerns Over Rising Numbers
Leaked documents from the Border Force suggest that Channel migrant crossings are anticipated to surge to approximately 35,000 this year, contradicting Rishi Sunak’s commitment to “stop the boats” before the next election.
Officials expressed scepticism about replicating last year’s 36% decline in small boat crossings, citing a substantial influx of migrants into mainland Europe as a key factor.
Sunak’s Challenge and Deadline Uncertainty
As the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, aims to bring crossings to zero in 2024, Sunak’s official spokesman hesitates to set a definitive deadline.
The leaked assessment heightens pressure on Sunak to expedite deportation flights to Rwanda, potentially acting as a deterrent. Right-wing Tory MPs demand a more robust approach, while center-Left backbenchers express concerns about potential legal challenges and a backlash.
Deportation Figures and Projections
Home Office data reveals that over 33,000 migrants are eligible for deportation to Rwanda, leveraging powers granted to ministers since July 2023.
The Border Force’s projection of 35,000 for 2024 is the medium-case scenario, with an upper estimate reaching 50,000, surpassing the 2022 record. These projections also consider the inadequacy of EU measures to curb external border breaches, influenced by an 80% increase in migrants entering Europe.
EU Measures and Lingering Concerns
Officials express skepticism about the efficacy of EU measures to secure external borders, pointing to an 80% surge in migrants entering Europe.
The delayed impact of migrants arriving in Italy and subsequently heading to the UK remains a significant concern. Despite improved cooperation with France, interception efforts have not reached a level to halt all arrivals. T
he absence of the Rwandan deterrent amplifies these concerns.
Learning from Past Projections
Comparisons with past projections indicate a degree of pessimism, as medium-case estimates of 65,000 and an upper estimate of 80,000 for the previous year did not materialize.
A source close to Cleverly said, “The concern is that there is a lag between someone arriving into Italy and someone reaching the UK. It takes months to get from Italy to the UK,” before admitting, “We have improved our cooperation with the French but they have not improved their interception to a level where they can stop all the people. The macro outlook is very bleak. The French have not improved their performance enough, and we haven’t got the Rwandan deterrent as yet.”
Cleverly’s Response and Targets
Cleverly acknowledges the annual projections and credits the Government, Home Office, and Border Force for the collaborative effort that prevented last year’s worst-case scenarios.
While projecting forward, Cleverly stressed the need to plan and implement strategies to prevent these scenarios from materializing. His target is to reduce crossing numbers to zero in 2024, echoing the government’s commitment to ongoing efforts to curb illegal migration.
Sunak’s spokesman spoke of the unity between the Prime Minister and Cleverly, stating they’re “united in wanting to stop the boats entirely.” However, uncertainty looms over achieving this objective in the current year.
The post Surge in Migration Predicted in 2024 According to Border Force Document first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.