British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday his plan to stop migrants arriving in small boats had reduced crossings by 20%, an update he hopes will ease criticism from his party and in the country over immigration policy.
The opposition Labour Party said Sunak had failed to clear the backlog of tens of thousands of asylum claims and that 7,600 people had crossed the English Channel so far this year.
Britain has long struggled to curb the number of arrivals on its southern shores, but Sunak is keen to show his plan of securing agreements with other European countries to reduce the numbers arriving can produce results.
He said a deal with Albania had meant that Britain was returning more migrants to the country and that London was increasing its provision of accommodation for those awaiting immigration decisions.
Sunak said so far this year “the number of Albanian small boat arrivals has fallen by almost 90%” and that Britain was now accepting one in 50 Albanian asylum cases compared with one in five previously.