More than 7,000 migrants have arrived in the UK by crossing the English Channel this year so far, according to the latest government figures.
A total of 7,240 people have reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats since the start of 2022.
This is more than three times the number recorded for the same period in 2021 (2,390) and more than seven times the amount recorded at this point in 2020 (1,006).
Choppy seas and bad weather conditions led to a pause in crossings over the past fortnight, with 11 days passing without any arrivals.
But they resumed this weekend as more than 500 people arrived in Kent over two days.
Some 293 people made the crossing to the UK in nine boats on Bank Holiday Monday after 254 people in seven boats arrived on Sunday.
In April, there were nine days of crossings bringing 2,143 people arrived in the UK as a result.
Despite the increasing numbers, the UK’s small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people arriving in Europe.
Data from the UN’s refugee agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.
According to The Times, Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont said the millions of pounds Britain has given to France to stop Channel crossings is a waste of money.
He is quoted in the newspaper as saying: “I strongly believe that we need to exit the relationship that we have right now with the UK, which is basically the UK is giving us money to do the job, because it makes both sides of the Channel angry.”
Last month home secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement with the Rwanda, which will see it receive asylum seekers deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally” and therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.
Refugee charities claim the Rwanda policy has done little to deter people from making the journey to the UK, but former Border Force chief Tony Smith said is “too soon to tell” if the government’s plan would curb Channel crossings.
The former Border Force director general added: “The weather has always been a factor. But the Rwanda announcement and the passing of the new Bill into law yesterday won’t have escaped the migrants’ attention.
“Given a choice between staying in France and going to Rwanda, I expect many would choose the former.”
The highest daily total for 2022 was recorded on April 13 when 651 people made the crossing in 18 boats.
A record 1,185 people made the crossing to the UK on November 11, 2021 – the highest recorded so far since the start of 2020.
Additional reporting by PA