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Home Office to recruit more officials to handle numbers crossing English Channel to Kent in small boats

A Home Office worst-case scenario predicts the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats could almost double in 2023.

It is understood official believe if the French and British authorities do not succeed in disrupting the crossings to Kent then around 80,000 could arrive via this route.

There are fears the number of small boats crossings could double in 2023
There are fears the number of small boats crossings could double in 2023

In 2022 the official figure for the number of asylum seekers arriving in small boats stood at 45,728.

According to a report in The Times today, the Home Office is set to hire an extra 100 officials to deal with the flow of migrants into Kent.

It is understood that hundreds of people arrived across the Channel yesterday, although the government is yet to publish the final official figure.

Modelling by civil servants predicts a medium-case scenario of 65,000 crossings in 2023.

Their best-case scenario is 45,000, representing no reduction in the number year-on-year.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman

It is understood the request for extra staff to deal with the arrivals in Kent has been sent to ministers for approval and the Treasury is expected to sign it off.

The government is looking at introducing tougher legislation to deter would-be migrants crossing the Channel by small boat.

Among proposals being looked at are the ability of the home secretary to prevent those who arrive via irregular routes, such as on a small boat, from being granted asylum.

Politicians have made a series of attempts to get a grip on the crisis, especially following 27 drownings in November.

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, controversially told of her "dream" of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, although that scheme was stalled by legal actions.

In December Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Commons "unless we act now and decisively, this will only get worse" as he announced plans to establish a new "small boats operational command" dedicated to tackling the crossings of the Channel to the UK.

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