The sun is beating down again, the waves are less choppy in the English Channel and the small boats full of irregular migrants are pouring across once more.
At least 1,000 men, women and children were reportedly spotted landing on the south coast yesterday. If these numbers are correct, it would have shattered the previous daily record of 828, recorded on 21 August. But Home Office sources were today briefing that was an over-estimate and the likely official number will be about 740, merely the second highest daily total ever.
The graphs plotting the staggering acceleration of this traffic make grim reading indeed – this is one curve that has never been flattened. An accompanying slump in deportations means that to many observers it seems as if we are getting close to there being a de facto right for anyone from any poor country to arrive illegally in Britain and tap into the resources of the British public realm from day one with negligible risk of removal. No welfare state can survive long-term under such a scenario and neither can widespread respect for the obligations of national citizenship.
One might therefore have expected this shambles to be a major topic on the first day of the Commons sitting after the summer recess. In fact, it was only raised by one MP: take a bow Redcar Tory backbencher Jacob Young.
Young asked, not unreasonably, whether the Government could be doing more to stop the landings. The answer he got from Boris Johnson must rank as among the most complacent given by any prime minister from the despatch box in modern times.
‘The issue is, very sadly, our friends across the Channel in France are faced with a very difficult problem: large numbers of people who want to come to this country.