The number of migrants crossing the English Channel spiked by more than 600 percent in 2019, with Brexit being cited as a primary driver behind the massive increase.
The arrival of three more boats on New Year's Eve brought the total of migrants who had successfully reached English soil to at least 1,892, according to figures compiled by the BBC.
Additionally, at least 1,235 illegal migrants were apprehended by French authorities while attempting the crossing during the year.
“An estimated 1,800 migrants made the perilous sea crossing over the English Channel in 2019 – more than six times the figure in the previous year, when the issue was declared a ‘major incident’ by the then home secretary Sajid Javid,” the Independent reports.
In December, 2018, Javid issued a 'major incident' declaration after 138 migrants arrived via boat. More than twice that number (283) arrived in December of 2019.
"One of the drivers, we’re being told, is that people smugglers and traffickers are telling these folk that after Brexit Britain will close in some way," Lucy Moreton, general secretary for the Immigration Service Union, told the BBC.
"In practice, of course, this is illegal anyway, and it will be as illegal on 31 January as it is on 1 February. Brexit doesn’t make a difference, but we do know that the criminals are using this to try to drive more business."
Moreton asserted the Channel has become "very much a business-as-usual route," admitting "this is something that we just expect."
“The numbers have increased massively in the last couple of weeks. We do normally see an increase in clandestine migration over Christmas – that’s been a pattern for decades. But this is the first time that we’ve seen this quite so dramatically in small boats.”
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff joins Matt Bracken to detail her unique experience in Europe as the daughter of an Austrian diplomat where she witnessed Islam gain momentum across society.
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(PHOTO: Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst