A Home Office spokesperson said:
“The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.
“Our priority is to stop the boats, and our Small Boats Operational Command is working alongside our French partners and other agencies to disrupt the people smugglers.
“The government is going even further through our Illegal Migration Act which will mean that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.”
- Our Nationality and Borders Act is beginning to have an impact on the exploitative business model of people smugglers, with over 700 people already arrested since it became law, and we remain committed to removing those who flout our laws.
- To stop the boats, we have to take away the incentive for people to jump the queue by coming here illegally – and that is what we are focused on delivering through the Illegal Migration Act to break the cycle and stop people-smuggling gangs.
- The French prevented nearly 33,000 crossings in 2022, an increase of over 40% on the number of crossings prevented in 2021.
- Measures introduced to tackle illegal migration since the Prime Minister took office include:
- package of measures agreed with France which will see the deployment of more than double the number of French personnel and enhanced technology to patrol beaches.
- a strengthened partnership with Turkey which includes UK and Turkish law enforcement officers stepping up joint operations to tackle Organised Immigration Crime and disrupt the supply chain of boat parts and other materials used as part of illegal migration journeys.
- a new partnership between social media companies and government to tackle people smuggling content online. Backed by a new Online Capability Centre, it will undermine and disrupt organised crime groups using the internet to facilitate these journeys.