NAVY warships will patrol the English Channel from today as Boris Johnson unveils his battleplan to tackle the illegal migration crisis.
At a press conference on the frontline in Dover, the PM vowed to crush the smuggling gangs turning the sea into a “watery graveyard”.
He hailed a landmark deal to send small boats arrivals to Rwanda to deter them for making the perilous crossing on the high seas.
Asylum seekers will be flown 6,000 miles to the tiny African nation to have their claims processed there – rather than in British hotels.
Mr Johnson promised the ambitious plan would help end the small boats crisis that has “bedevilled our country for too long and caused far too much human suffering and tragedy.”
Vowing to bring the number of crossings down to zero, the PM ordered the military to get a grip of the problem.
He said: “From today, the Royal Navy will take over operational command from Border Force in the Channel, taking primacy for our operational response at sea.”
He vowed his new Brexit blueprint would smash the evil crooks turning the Channel into a “watery graveyard” of dead migrants.
Mr Johnson said: “Around 600 came across the Channel yesterday. In just a few weeks this could again reach a thousand a day.
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“I accept that these people – whether 600 or one thousand – are in search of a better life; the opportunities that the United Kingdom provides and the hope of a fresh start.
“But it is these hopes – these dreams – that have been exploited.
“These vile people smugglers are abusing the vulnerable and turning the Channel into a watery graveyard, with men, women and children, drowning in unseaworthy boats and suffocating in refrigerated lorries.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel is in Rwanda where she will today reveal the multi-million pound partnership to help cut crossings.
The move, aimed at deterring illegals from flooding into Britain, is part of a major new immigration shake-up.
At least one multi-million pound migrant processing centre will be set up in the North of England to save millions on hotel bills.
Asylum seekers will also be flown to Rwanda in a bid to stop them making the perilous crossing.
And the military will be brought in to patrol the Channel after yet another record day of arrivals.
He will effectively fire the starting gun on the next general election campaign, thrusting immigration to the front of the agenda.
Ministers hope shipping illegal migrants thousands of miles away from their ultimate goal will deter them from trying to sneak into Britain by the back door.
Home Secretary Priti Patel flew to Rwanda yesterday to seal a deal with her counterparts in the tiny central African nation.
Ms Patel will today outline the landmark “migration and economic partnership” and visit an accommodation centre where thousands may be housed as she vows to fix our “broken asylum system”.
HOAR understands migrants could be given cash or other incentives to stay in Rwanda, rather than try to claim asylum in Britain.
A source said: “Those who will be processed in Rwanda are those who arrived in the UK illegally. We will also have a Greek-style immigration centre, rather than spending large sums on hotels.”
The controversial new policy will cost just £120million initially — with more money earmarked if the plans go well and deliver results.
Senior Government sources said the shake-up had been 18 months in the making, and they expect it to spark clashes with human rights lawyers. Ministers have introduced legislation to allow for offshore processing of asylum bids but are still preparing for a slew of claims under the Human Rights Act.
Local councils will be given extra cash to stop the Home Office forking out £4.7million a day putting asylum seekers up in hotels.
Last year 27 people drowned on a single day in the Channel when their ramshackle raft sank.
The major new approach comes after years of failures and repeated bungs chucked to France to desperately stop the flow of boats.
The Home Secretary has repeatedly promised to get a grip on the escalating situation but the numbers have only swelled.
Ministers currently spend £1.5billion a year on our woeful asylum system. Hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ cash has been sent to improve security in Calais and Northern France.
A further £54million deal was agreed last year, with extra cash for French police patrols.
But that made little difference to the number of boats heading here.
More migrants are prepared to risk the hazardous boat trip after 39 Vietnamese people suffocated to death in a lorry in 2019.
The plan to shift migrants to Africa was slammed yesterday.
Enver Solomon, of the Refugee Council said “We are appalled by the government’s cruel and nasty decision to send those seeking sanctuary in our country to Rwanda.
“Sending people seeking asylum to be processed abroad will do absolutely nothing to address the reasons why people take perilous journeys to find safety in the UK.”
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper branded the new scheme a “desperate and shameful” announcement to “distract from his (Mr Johnson’s) own law-breaking”.
She insisted: “It is an unworkable, unethical and extortionate policy.
“The Home Office is a catalogue of failure, from passport queues, to Ukrainian visa delays, to rising crime and falling prosecutions.
“Instead of getting a grip on the basics, all Priti Patel and Boris do is come up with wild and unworkable headlines. Britain deserves better.”