Priti Patel has been warned that 65,000 migrants could cross the Channel this year – more than double the 28,300 record number in 2021.

According to officials, the figures could reach the ‘worst-case scenario’. This is why Ministers consider ‘outsourcing the asylum process abroad.

Ministers are said to be drawing up proposals which would see asylum seekers flown to Ghana and Rwanda under Government plans to deter migrant Channel crossings.

While the UK could pay another country to assume the responsibility under the arrangement, it has not yet agreed. 

Priti Patel has been warned that 65,000 migrants could cross the Channel this year - more than double the 28,300 record number in 2021

Priti Patel is being warned by 65,000 migrants that they could cross the Channel in this year’s campaign – nearly double the number of people crossing the channel last year (28300) 

Whitehall sources said that it was not an estimation or forecast but a planning assumption.

The Telegraph spoke with an insider who said: “In part, this demonstrates exactly why our measures are being taken and how we look at things such as offshoring.” [the processing of Channel migrants]Outsourcing [operations in the Channel to the military.]’  

Tony Smith, the ex-director general of Border Force stated that there will be more migrants trying to illegally enter the UK as the ‘air traffic and ferry traffic return back to pre–Covid levels.      

Although it was first reported that Albania was one of the potential destinations, talks have reportedly collapsed. 

Downing Street would not be drawn on the plans at lunchtime as the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said it was ‘not helpful’ to discuss negotiations with countries. 

“This is an international challenge. It’s right that I talk with international partners about how to fix the broken asylum system, but I won’t get into the details of those conversations,” the spokesperson said.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Armed Forces activator, made the decision to “offshore” process migrants. To tackle the Channel’s small boat crossing crisis

After the Prime Minister approved a drastic change of tactics, the Ministry of Defence will assume control of operations in a matter of weeks.

Royal Navy ships and RAF support will be sent to patrol UK territorial waters in the context of a policy blitz called “Operation Red Meat” that Johnson hopes will change the tide of Tory disquiet towards his premiership.

In the battle against human traffickers, for the first-time the UK Border Force is going to be part of a military chain.

Officials are hopeful that Armed Forces participation will prove to be significant deterrent.

According to government sources, the move will result in “demonstrable changes” in Channel Crisis. This crisis saw an unprecedented 28,300 migrants arrive in the UK last year from France. 

Boris Johnson has activated Britain's Armed Forces to tackle the small boat crossings crisis in the Channel

Boris Johnson activated Britain’s Armed Forces in an effort to address the Channel’s small boat crossings crisis.

Royal Navy vessels and RAF support are expected to be deployed on patrol in UK territorial waters in a bid to tackle the migrant crisis in the Channel

Royal Navy ships, RAF support and Royal Navy boats are likely to deploy to UK territorial waters for patrolling in order to address the migrant crisis.

A group of migrants pictured using an inflatable dinghy to make the journey across the Channel to reach the UK in November

Pictured: A group of migrants riding an inflatable dinghy across the Channel in order to get to the UK in November

Operation Red Meat: Boris tries to regain control 

Operation Red Meat will include the following:

  • The No. 10 office ‘booze ban’ will end partying culture. Boris Johnson has been drafting Downing Street rules that limit the consumption of alcohol at official events. 
  • Clearout of the No. 10 staff involved in party row. Martin Reynolds (Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary) who sent the “bring your own alcohol” invitation to the Downing Street party at the first lockdown and Dan Rosenfield, chief of staff, were among the people seen as being in danger.
  • A freeze in the BBC’s two-year licence fee will be implemented to reduce household debts. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is expected to confirm that the cost of an annual licence will remain at £159 until 2024.
  • Push to reduce NHS wait lists. Figures last week showed that six million people are currently on the waiting list for hospital admissions in England. In December, nearly 27 per cent of patients at A&E waited more than four hours to be seen – a record high. 
  • To help people out of work and to reduce unemployment, extra money is available for skills training and jobs. From 4.3 procent in September, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in October.
  • Plan B Covid restrictions like the wearing masks on public transport, in shops, and vaccination passports for big events (January 26) should be eliminated. 
  • Publication of Levelling Up’s white paper. Michael Gove is currently working on the document. It will outline the government’s plan to make neglected communities more liveable. It will be available in the first week or February.
  • Last night it was announced that the Channel’s military would be called in to combat illegal immigration. Defense chiefs will oversee efforts to prevent dangerous crossings which reached new highs in this year’s numbers. Royal Navy vessels could be used to strengthen the Border Force fleet.

The move was welcomed by Tory MPs last night. The announcement was Mr Johnson’s first major move to revive his premiership after the “Partygate” scandals which have rocked the government.

According to a Whitehall source, the Command of Border Force (which oversees Channel incidents) will transfer over to Ministry of Defence.

This will happen by February end or January early. There will be changes in the channel operation within a few weeks. This makes perfect sense.

In summer 2020, Ms. Patel requested military intervention. At that time, the number of people crossing France from India was only a handful thousand per year.

Yesterday night, a Home Office source stated that while we have been pressing for this for so many years, there has been a massive resistance to action in other areas of government. 

“Priti asked for military defence of UK territory waters since August 2020. After months of negotiation in Whitehall, the PM finally agreed with her that there is a shift in our operational posture.

A Whitehall source answered a question about whether this could refer to military assets being deployed on the Channel. However, it is only a question that the military can answer. It does however, and will likely lead to many more military personnel getting involved.

In the most tragic tragedy since the beginning of the crisis, 27 migrants drowned on the French Channel side in November. Their deaths were one of at least 39 who lost their lives while trying to cross the channel in 2021.

A 20-year-old Sudanese national lost his life trying to get to the UK on Friday.

Natalie Elphicke, Dover MP said that everyone knows that the Royal Navy is the one who rules the seas. It is clear that Britain cares about stopping these dangerous crossings.

“Too many people have lost their lives in the last months, and this crisis continues too long.”

Recent developments indicate a decrease in confidence among the Home Office’s upper ranks regarding the UK Border Force.

A trade union representing 80 percent of Border Force personnel threatened to strike earlier this month over Ms Patel’s plans to return migrants.

According to the Public and Commercial Services Union, that section of the Nationality and Borders Bill currently in Parliament was deemed’morally repulsive’.

The possibility of military involvement in Channel could open the door to so-called “pushback” tactics (as outlined in the Bill) being used by the Navy and not Border Force.

According to a Whitehall source, the strike threat by trade unions “has certainly helped raise the level of military involvement.” 

The move will free Border Force personnel to concentrate on New Plan for Immigration pledges, including a twin-track asylum system and the creation of processing centres.

A review will be conducted by the Home Office of Border Force officers and Immigration Enforcement officers to determine their ‘powers, capabilities.

Officials from the MoD want HM Coastguard included in their remit on Channel. It is still not clear what role the RNLI (a charity) will play.

The current military presence in the Channel is limited to surveillance and other equipment.

Lydd Airport in Kent is 25 miles southwest of Dover. It houses the Army’s ‘Watchkeeper drones that hunt for migrants with high-definition optical cameras and infrared camera.

The £6million Watchkeepers, which have a 36ft wingspan, are operated by 47th Regiment Royal Artillery. They can fly for 14 hours.

HMS Mersey, the MoD’s then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, was temporarily stationed in Dover Strait during 2019, as part of a partnership. 

While the 260 ft-long offshore patrol vessel was being deployed, two Border Force cutters (Seeker and Protector) were returned from the Mediterranean during the Channel crisis’ early days.