The latest UK government’s figures show that 2021 saw a significant spike in people smugglers transporting individuals illegally across one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into Great Britain.
More than 28,000 illegal migrants traveled in small boats across the English Channel from France to the United Kingdom in 2021, more than triple the previous year’s numbers.
At least 28,395 migrants reached the UK in 2021, according to the PA’s analysis. The BBC counted that there were at least 28,431 people. The number more than tripled the 2020 figure, as the issue of individuals traveling across the Channel became a significant point of contention between Great Britain and France.
November alone saw 6,869 people arrive illegally on British shores, as weather conditions proved favorable, allowing a record-breaking 1,185 individuals to encroach in a single day.
Relations between the UK and France have become tense as each side blames the other for the continued flow of illegal migrants. During 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly called UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “a clown” in private, while Britain publicly condemned Paris over the migrant crisis.
In a letter released in December, French Prime Minister Jean Castex rejected a UK proposal for a dual nation patrol in the Channel to combat migration.
Dismissing Britain’s idea, Castex arrogantly argued that having UK “police or soldiers patrol on our coasts” would potentially violate France’s “sovereignty,” while it is perfectly obvious that French police and soldiers are not capable of patrolling “their coasts.”