Radio Sputnik has discussed the development with Paolo Salom, political observer with Corriere della Sera.
Sputnik: The UK is committed to pay for surveillance drones to fight against irregular sea departures and is also sending naval vessels for this very purpose. How effective could this uptick in security prove to be in deterring illegal newcomers?
Sputnik: Well, I think you're actually asking the most pertinent question, why has there been an increase now? I think 500 individuals have tried to access the UK via the English Channel. Perhaps you could just elaborate a little bit, do you think it's an influx of more people traffickers or do you think there's an uptake in this and these individual groups and people wanting to utilize the potential of these illegal immigrants getting to the UK to increase their income, it's very profitable this, isn't it?
Paolo Salom: Of course. Well, first let's talk about numbers. If you compare British numbers to what we Italians had to face in the last five years you can easily understand that the number is not so great. Five-hundred people, more or less, from November, is not a huge amount of people but, of course, this is only the beginning. Maybe the future will be different. And why? Why so? First of all, I think that what's happening in the Mediterranean has changed the pattern because of the stricter controls that are effective now in the southern part of Italy and places facing the North African coast.
Great Britain is not part of Schengen, but it had single treaties that allowed it to share this information too, but what will happen afterwards this we cannot know for sure. Now they're saying they're cooperating with France but will it be the same after the Brexit, soft Brexit or hard Brexit we still don't know. So probably the traffickers are taking advantage of this unusual situation.
Sputnik: What is it in particular that they are trying to achieve in terms of migration to the United Kingdom? Is it the fact that the UK has such a generous social security system to illegal immigrants or is there other elements to it?
In this situation and knowing that other countries are in a different mood towards foreign migrants maybe Great Britain just seems to them the best place where to go. And considering also that Great Britain will no longer be with Europe and in the future maybe the relationship with the United States will be stricter well, maybe Great Britain is just a stop on a far longer journey across the Atlantic.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Paolo Salom and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.