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Storm of Illicit Migrants Engulfs Dover as 2023 Sets Record as Second-Highest Year for Arrivals

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A substantial number of unlawful migrants reached Dover via small dinghies from Calais, making 2023 the second-highest year on record for boat arrivals. Witnesses observed a minimum of seven boatloads being returned to Dover by Border Force patrols on Saturday, December 2, 2023, as migrants boldly navigated the Channel despite harsh freezing conditions, as reported by Daily Mail.



The influx of arrivals in 2023 represents a setback, challenging Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s earlier commitment to decrease the influx of boats to Britain. In an attempt to address the crisis, Sunak had earmarked half-a-billion pounds for the French government to bolster beach patrols in Northern France. Despite this substantial investment, the desired outcomes have not materialized, with the numbers persistently on the rise.

The migrant boat predicament, which gained prominence in 2018, reached its zenith in 2022, witnessing a record 45,774 arrivals on dinghies. The second-highest year on record was 2021, with 28,526 arrivals. Contrary to initial optimism, 2023 now appears set to surpass the preceding year, with an estimated 28,653 migrants having reached Dover, factoring in the statistics from Saturday, December 2, 2023.



On that pivotal Saturday, Border Force cutters were dispatched before dawn to rescue migrants stranded in the midst of the English Channel, grappling with exceedingly poor visibility compounded by dense fog. The continuous flow of boats endured throughout the day, culminating in the last arrival just before 6 pm, as per eyewitness reports.



Reacting to the escalating crisis, the Labour party took the opportunity to censure the government’s endeavors to stem the tide of boat arrivals. This matter has been a central focus of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s agenda since assuming office.

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The Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper voiced her apprehensions, remarking, ‘Rishi Sunak pledged to halt the small boats this year, yet this weekend’s figures are poised to make it the second-highest year of crossings on record.’ The Labour party’s criticism underscores the necessity for the government to reassess and fortify its approaches to contend with the persistent challenges posed by unlawful migrant arrivals.

As the 2023 statistics unfold, the situation demands a thorough reassessment of existing policies and an exploration of more efficacious measures to safeguard the UK’s borders. The government’s dedication to addressing this humanitarian crisis will unquestionably be a pivotal topic in public discussions in the ensuing months.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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