More than 2,000 migrants waiting in Calais and Dunkirk to cross Channel in small boats

More than 2000 people are waiting in areas around the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk to try to make it across the English Channel in small boats, GB News has been told

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A source in the area said “more migrants are being bused in daily from cities, including Lille".

Over the weekend, up to 600 people crossed the Channel despite poor weather conditions that led to a string of rescues on the French side of the Channel.

Just after 8am today, Border Force ribs delivered a group of 20 migrants to Dover harbour, after they were pulled from a small boat in the Channel at around 6am.

Gusts of more than 30mph are now blowing in the area, making further small boat crossings today unlikely.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed at the weekend that the first 50 would-be asylum -seekers had been notified they are likely to be flown to Rwanda in the next fortnight.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, in April
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, in April
Home Secretary Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel

Last month, the UK signed a £120million development deal with the government in Kigali, which included a provision to send some asylum-seekers from the UK for processing in Rwanda.

The trip would be one-way, with anyone granted asylum by the Rwandans unable to return to the UK.

Instead, they would integrated into Rwandan society, with millions of pounds of extra UK Government support to help that process.

Mr Johnson joined Home Secretary Priti Patel in acknowledging that any flights leaving for Rwanda could be some months off, because of a raft of legal challenges expected in the courts by asylum-seekers, human rights groups, and charities.

In the meantime, there appears to be no let up in the numbers determined to pay people-smugglers to reach the UK.

A source in the area told GB News: “The numbers have been building on the French side of the Channel in recent weeks.

“There are at least 2000 people dotted around Dunkirk and Calais. They’re not being put off by the threat of removal to Rwanda.”

In fact, the source said numbers are “growing rapidly” as the criminal gangs anticipate improving weather conditions.

He told us that more migrants are being “bused in daily” from cities further inland, including Lille.

On Sunday, 436 people were pulled off nine small boats, despite frequent thunderstorms in the Channel and gusty winds.

The weather conditions led to half a dozen incidents off the French coast, where migrants got into difficulties and had to be rescued by authorities there.

Several were transferred to hospital suffering from hypothermia.

So far this year, 8,393 people have reached the UK in small boats, more than double the number recorded for the same period in 2021.