To date, some 3,500 migrants are awaiting passage across the Channel in small boats.
According to aid organisations in Northern France, there are “four times as many” asylum seekers living in makeshift camps in Calais and Dunkirk this year as there were last year.
This figure is expected to rise as the winter weather makes crossing the English Channel impossible.
In addition, the UK used today’s Europe-wide smuggling summit to warn that gangs operating in Northern France are becoming “increasingly violent.”
Following allegations that attempting to opt out of international human rights conventions could cause flight delays, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is currently considering how to ensure his Rwanda plan is legally sound.
The expulsion scheme was a key component of the government’s attempt to address the Channel migrant issue.
Home Secretary James Cleverly is concerned that quitting the ECHR will undermine efforts to halt the boats because European partners, including as France, will be outraged, and cooperation schemes already preventing migrants from reaching Britain will be jeopardised.
And there is growing worry that leaving the ECHR would take six months, during which time the UK would be legally bound by Strasbourg’s regulations.
Some believe that this will make it more difficult to stop the boats before the next general election.
But as the rows continue in Westminster, left-wing charity Care4Calais warned donors: “Temperatures are set to plummet in the next few days. With more storms threatening rain, thousands of refugees who have just had their shelters destroyed are battling the elements in thin T-shirts and soaking shoes.
“As the bad weather stops people moving on from Calais, the number of refugees in the region is rising steadily. Right now there are around 3,500 cold and wet refugees in Calais and Dunkirk facing the winter without proper clothing or shelter. That’s four times as many as last winter.”
According to the government, crossings have decreased by one-third this year.
Around 28,500 migrants arrived in the UK by small boat. Some argue that the government has been fortunate in that the weather has made crossings impossible.
However, this has been categorically rejected, with insiders pointing to heightened efforts across Europe this year to combat illegal migration.
Europe’s Call for Action
In addition, the European Union agreed on Tuesday to take a harder approach against people smuggling.
The UK’s representative at the meeting, Julian Braithwaite, is understood to have told the summit: “We will only succeed against the smugglers if we work together along the route, as countries of origin, transit and destination.
Mr Braithwaite said the UK is “proud” to join Europe’s “Call for Action” and thanked the French government for their efforts on the beaches of Northern France.
He stated that the United Kingdom wished to “pay tribute to our partners.” France, in particular, for the courage and dedication of their Gendarmerie in combating the increasingly deadly smuggling gangs operating over the English Channel.”
Brussels wishes to establish a “global alliance to combat migrant smuggling.”
The United Kingdom confirmed its support for the EU’s objectives.