THE number of migrants smuggled into the UK on the back of a lorry in the last seven years would nearly fill Old Trafford, according to new stats.
Analysis by Migration Watch reveals over 70,200 people hitched a lift to the UK on the back of a truck since 2014 – just less than the 75,640 capacity of Manchester United’s stadium.The number of migrants smuggled into the UK on the back of a lorry in the last seven years would nearly fill Old Trafford, according to new stats[/caption]
Home Office sources estimate 9,000 arrived hidden in vehicles last year alone.
The think tank say that most lorry crossings are via the Calais to Dover route, although a significant number of illegal arrivals have also been found at Portsmouth and Poole.
And they suggest that they could be back on the increase as a number of French presidential candidates have suggested tearing up or negotiating Le Touquet agreement which sees British border checks take place in Calais.
The 2003 treaty has helped stop around 38,000 people crossing a year according to recent stats from 2016-19.
Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “Even with boat arrivals hitting record levels, thousands of migrants continue to enter in clandestine ways, including in the backs of lorries and containers.
“The serious risks to safety that this poses are obvious.
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“Having destroyed their documents, as many do, it becomes nigh on impossible to properly identify those entering this way.
“It’s an open door to criminals and terrorists.”
It comes as another think tank, Policy Exchange set out a ‘Plan B’ to tackle small boats crossing the channel after 28,000 people arrived last year.
The plan suggests “prevent and disincentive dangerous and unauthorised maritime arrivals” by saying that “no one, even a genuine refugee” could be granted asylum if they arrive by small boat.
They also suggest migrants captured in the Channel are assessed and immediately deported to a British Overseas Territory for processing before being deported to a third country or their original home lands.
They insist this would be possible without breaching international law.
Dean Godson from the think tank added: “We have people being exploited by ruthless smugglers and traffickers, put in extreme danger, and, tragically, in some cases, losing their lives.
“We cannot allow this to continue. At the moment we have thousands of people placing themselves in jeopardy, even though they are already in a safe country, trying to cross The Channel.
“It is vital we now end the incentive to do so.”
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