About 40,000 people, more than double the number of arrivals by the same point last year, have arrived so far and last week, nearly 2000 people came in just three days.
The composition boat arrivals has also dramatically changed, with officials recording an “exponential” rise in the number of Albanian men making the journey and claiming asylum. The numbers comprise two per cent of Albania’s male population aged between 20 and 40.
Dan O’Mahoney who commands the Clandestine Channel Threat told the Home Affairs Select Committee that Albanian criminal gangs had gained a foothold in the north of France.
Albania has applied to join the EU and is a member of NATO and the UK government says there is no justification for thousands of its young adult male population to be travelling through safe countries in Europe to claim asylum in the UK via a channel crossing.
The approval rate for asylum claims for Albanians is about 53 per cent, lower than the average 76 per cent for other nationalities. But when it comes to approving asylum claims for young adult men, the rate falls to 14 per compared to the 90 per cent approval rate for women and children.
These figures do not take into account the applications of any Albanians who have arrived on small boats this year.
The overall numbers have overwhelmed the UK’s infrastructure and the Manston processing centre, built to house 1500 people, is crammed with 4000 people, leading to grim health and safety conditions.
In a bid to try and stop the flow, the UK’s Australia-inspired plan was to send migrants to Rwanda, a version of Australia’s deals with Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which ran Australia’s offshore detention centres. But the Rwanda plan was stymied by the European Court of Human Rights.
The government has repeatedly said it is looking to emulate a similar migrant deal with other countries, but it has not had a great deal of success.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the House of Commons this week that the number of arrivals constituted an “invasion” on the UK’s southern coast, sparking outrage over her choice of language.
A government spokesman said: “Our world-leading Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda will help break the business model of criminal people smuggling gangs and save lives.
“We’ve always been clear we are committed to working with a range of international partners to tackle the global migration crisis.”
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