More than 25,700 migrants have reached the UK so far this year, treble the 8,714 total for the whole of 2020 with numbers accelerating through the year.
November has been the busiest month on record with more than 6,000 having reached the UK despite colder and rougher weather and sea conditions. The month has seen two of the highest daily totals of 1,185 and 1,131 migrants.
A Border Force source said: “We know the smugglers adapt their tactics depending on the conditions and the enforcement activity. The bigger boats are harder to hide but are more profitable and more suited to the conditions.”
Alp Mehmet, chair of Migration Watch UK, said: “Larger boats and greater overload makes turning them back even more precarious. Detaining and returning migrants crossing illegally is the only answer. The French must stop playing games and be made to see sense.”