Five-hundred asylum seekers entered Kent during the bank holiday, arriving in Dover after a journey from France – undeterred by dangerous weather conditions.
On May 1, 254 asylum seekers were intercepted in the English Channel followed by 293 more people on Bank Holiday Monday. The total number of migrants arriving in the UK during 2022 has now passed 7,000.
The Royal Navy are now actively in control of the channel and are responsible for ensuring that asylum seekers arriving in the UK via lifeboats reach land.
The annual number of asylum applications to the UK peaked in 2021, the highest annual number since 2003. This means that asylum applications often take a significant amount of time, there is also no guarantee of approval.
Asylum seekers are fleeing due to fear of persecution and time is not a luxury they can afford, this may be the reason the UK has seen significant numbers of lifeboats carrying desperate migrants.
The decision to send asylum seekers to Rwanda after illegally entering the UK was introduced on the April 14, it is proposed that this will help control borders and crack down on the criminal gangs exploiting the migrant crisis.
This has been seen as controversial and those desperate enough to travel in lorries and life boats will be forced to leave the UK on arrival.
However, the government sees this as an opportunity, stating that Rwanda is recognised globally for its record of welcoming and integrating migrants.
Under this partnership the UK is investing £120 million into the economic development and growth of Rwanda. Funding will be provided to support the integration of migrants, this is similar to the costs incurred in the UK for services like these.
£50 million in new funding has been given to Border Force to supply new boats, aerial surveillance and expert military personnel. The plan is to disrupt the business model of people-smuggling gangs.
Tax payers are currently contributing to the £4.7 million per-day cost of housing migrants in hotels, this partnership is aiming to reduce these costs, however it is a long-term solution that will take a significant amount of time.