The number of migrants crossing the English Channel is already double the total for this point last year, new figures show.
A total of 20,017 people have now arrived in small boats since January, according to government data, after a further 607 migrants were detected on Saturday.
Almost 15,000 of these have reached British shores since Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, announced the Rwanda policy in an attempted crackdown on traffickers in April.
It is the third time this year that there have been more than 600 arrivals in a single day, with the current daily record standing at 696 on August 1. Just over 11,300 crossings had been made by August 15, 2021.
The total number of small boat crossings last year was 28,526, according to official figures, a significant rise from 8,466 in 2020 and 1,843 in 2019.
The all-time record day for small boat crossings was November 11, 2021, when 1,185 migrants made the journey in treacherous conditions in a total of 33 boats.
November also proved to be the biggest month for crossings last year, which suggests this year’s figure is likely to increase significantly in the coming months.
The plans unveiled by Ms Patel earlier this year would see arrivals sent to Rwanda in order to deter them from making dangerous journeys from Calais and also tackle the illicit financing of trafficking gangs.
But despite the agreement with the east African nation, the first deportation flight was grounded on June 14 after a series of legal challenges. It is feared the first flights could now be delayed until October, with no chance to pass new legislation until next month.
The Telegraph reported last week that a “summer sale” for Channel migrants has helped to fuel the rise in crossings with people smugglers slashing their prices by as much as £1,500 per person.
Social media adverts on TikTok have been primarily targeted at Albanians, who accounted for almost four in 10 of the almost 3,000 migrants who crossed the Channel during a six-week period earlier this summer.
MPs on the home affairs committee have claimed gangs could be exploiting the court-enforced delay to the Rwanda policy in order to persuade as many people as possible to cross the Channel now, rather than when they would face a deportation flight.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the Conservative leadership candidates, have both pledged to push ahead with the scheme by following through on plans to introduce a new Bill of Rights that would overrule the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Sunak has set out a 10-point plan to secure Britain’s borders, vowing to cap the number of refugees and tighten the definition of an asylum seeker under a “common sense” system.
In addition to more Rwanda-style deals with other countries, Ms Truss would increase the number of Border Force officers.
However, she told The Telegraph’s hustings event on Thursday night that she rejected the idea of a specific cap on immigration as it had not worked in the past.
The new migration figures come as a new report from ReWAGE and the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said the reasons for Britain’s current labour shortages were “complex” and not just because of Brexit.
While there was “some evidence” Britain’s exit from the EU was responsible for the amount of vacancies, the authors concluded it was “by no means the only driver” of the current state of the jobs market.
The impact of the Covid pandemic, the wider international situation and workers taking early retirement or “job-hopping” have also played a role in the shortages.
Potential solutions suggested by the report are extending visas to cover low-wage jobs, sponsoring foreign workers on skilled work visas and expanding the Shortage Occupation List.