Channel crossings collapse: ZERO dinghies detected just days after Rwanda program unveiled | Politics | News

Experts feared 2022 could be another record year for those arriving in the UK after making the perilous 21-mile journey through the Strait of Dover. Some 5,000 people have already made the crossing in 2022 and a union leader representing Border Force workers has claimed the number could exceed 60,000.

Lucy Moreton, of the Union for Borders, Immigration and Customs, said: ‘The planning is almost 60,000, and that was before Ukraine.

That would top the 28,431 migrants who made the journey in 2021, a 12-month record from 8,417 in 2020.

However, MoD data showed the number of people crossing the Channel plummeted in the days following an announcement from Boris Johnson and Priti Patel.

No migrants were detected making the perilous 21-mile journey through the Strait of Dover for at least eight days.

The last time migrants were detected was on April 19, when 263 were spotted in seven boats.

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When Ms Patel signed the deal with the African country on April 14, more than 500 people in 15 small boats arrived on British shores.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary, who both campaigned for the UK to regain control of its borders in the 2016 Brexit referendum, unveiled a £120million package which will will focus on single men arriving on boats and trucks.

The scheme, which has been criticized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will see many people deemed to have entered the UK through illegal means deported to Rwanda.

Government insiders said high winds in the English Channel had driven the drop and feared the summer months could see numbers soar again.

However, number 10 insisted: “We are convinced that the approach which is being put in place will contribute to breaking the economic model which sees criminal gangs exploiting vulnerable people.

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Speaking about the legislation, Ms Patel said it was ‘an important step in our commitment to our promise to the British public’ of an improved immigration system.

The Home Secretary added: “While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the global migration crisis, these new laws are the first step in overhauling our decades-old broken asylum system.

“We will now work tirelessly to implement these reforms to ensure we have an immigration system that protects those who really need it while cracking down on abuse of the system and malicious smuggling gangs.”

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