As the Prime Minister faces another critical vote on his ‘Stop the Boats’ policy today, a further eight small migrant boats have crossed the English Channel this morning, GB News can exclusively reveal.
The boats crossed despite deteriorating weather conditions, with the move by people smugglers condemned by maritime security sources as “crazily stupid”.
GB News provisional figures suggest around 350 people have crossed so far today.
One source said that the criminal gangs are “dicing with death” and “putting people’s lives at risk”.
Although seven boats were initially reported to have made the crossing, GB News can reveal an eighth has also now made the crossing having been spotted near Dungeness late this afternoon.
A Border Force vessel and the RNLI lifeboat are on the scene.
GB News Kent producer reports that weather conditions in the Channel are deteriorating rapidly, with Northerly winds gusting at more than 20 knots.
He said: “Those winds are really churning up the waves, particularly on the French side of the Channel. It’s really tough going for a small inflatable to attempt the crossing now.”
Three small boats crossed in the early hours of this morning, taking advantage of an improvement in weather conditions.
Those on board were picked up by Border Force and taken to the migrant processing centre in Dover harbour.
GB News Kent producer reports that weather conditions in the Channel are deteriorating rapidly (stock image)
The fourth and fifth boats were spotted just after 8am, as winds started to increase again.
The migrant boats are the first since the weekend, when 263 people crossed the Channel, and five people drowned when their small boat got into difficulties just off Boulogne.
One maritime security source told GB News: “The criminal gangs have a callous disregard for the safety of those they push offshore in these flimsy boats.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our priority is to stop the boats, which is why we have taken robust action to crack down on vile people smuggling gangs, deter migrants from making dangerous crossings and, alongside our French counterparts, intercept vessels.
“This relentless action reduced crossings by 36 per cent last year, which saw similar weather conditions to 2022, and more than 26,000 attempts were prevented.
“The fact we have seen three devastating fatal incidents in three months highlights the unacceptable risks that migrants and criminal gangs are running in pursuing these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary crossing attempts.”