Jorrit Rijpma on increase of boat refugees crossing Channel
At least 27 migrants died on 24 November after their boat capsized in the Channel between France and England.
In recent months, the number of illegal Channel crossings has risen sharply. Every day, around 25 small boats with groups of migrants set off from Calais, an exceptionally high number. Normally, there is less migration over sea in the winter due to the poorer weather conditions. Towards the end of the year, the temperature in the Channel drops below 10°C.
But crossings are currently still going on and that’s mainly to do with supply and demand, says Professor of European Law Jorrit Rijpma. 'Migration has shifted from hiding in trucks to boats, and the immigrant smuggling industry is facilitating this.'
Rijpma says that the Brexit is also to blame. 'In the past, the British were part of the customs union and could rely on the so-called Dublin rules. These stipulated that refugees had to apply for asylum in the country where they had entered the EU. This allowed the UK to send asylum seekers back to that country.’ This has become much more difficult now.