Given that the overall number of Channel crossings this year is getting up to 20,000, Rishi Sunak said he wanted people to “have confidence” in his efforts to stop them.
The Prime Minister claimed that since there were fewer migrants arriving than the previous year, his strategy to “stop the boats” was “working.”
Images from Tuesday’s resumption of crossings showed a dinghy crammed with men and boys, some of whom were not wearing life jackets, perched on the edges with their legs dangling in the water.
Witnesses reported seeing what seemed to be a nearby French police boat accompanying and keeping an eye on the boat as it floated into UK waters towards Dover before being met by Border Force and later brought ashore at the Kent port.
According to preliminary Home Office data, 19,801 migrants have entered the UK after travelling across the Channel thus far in 2023.
An study of government data by the PA news agency reveals that this is 21% less than it was at this time last year, when more than 25,000 people had already travelled.
According to updated Home Office statistics, the amount and velocity of crossings decreased over the holiday weekend. Only 60 individuals were found travelling in one boat on Sunday, and neither Saturday nor Monday saw any crossings.
On Tuesday, while on a visit to Norfolk, Mr. Sunak spoke to media representatives and declared: “This year, for the first time since the small boats issue started, the numbers crossing are down. It’s crucial that folks comprehend that.
“This year for the first time the numbers of people crossing are lower than the year before. That hasn’t happened before. That shows that the plan is working.
“Of course, there’s more to do, but I want people to have confidence that we are on it, and we’ll keep going.”
Mr. Sunak has dismissed claims that policy choices rather than bad weather were to blame for the decreased number of crossings compared to last year.
However, compared to last year, when there was an increase of crossings in August, this summer has witnessed more erratic weather.
While June 2023 broke a record for warmth, July and August were considerably more unsettling due to a series of low pressure systems that brought wind and rain.
With heatwaves in each of the three months, summer 2022 was the fourth warmest on record for the UK and the warmest on record for England.